Haiti, TPS, 50% and What It Is

The following statements have been made about the current administration and Temporary Protected Status for approximately 59,000 Haitians who have been living and working in the United States. Most of them (I don’t know the exact number) came after the earthquake in Haiti in January of 2010.

Temporary Protected Status is a program that allows people to come into the United States when it has been declared that their country is unsafe due to political violence, genocide, natural disasters, war and ……….

A link to the stories that have these statements in them is at the bottom of this……

USCIS staff wrote a memo in October of 2017 that said that the conditions, the reasons for granting TPS for Haitians in the first place, have not improved.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week called for an investigation after they uncovered diplomatic cables that showed “officials at the U.S. Embassies in El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras all stated that it would be in the ‘U.S. national interest’ to renew the TPS designations for their respective countries.”

“Haiti has made significant progress in recovering from the 2010 earthquake, and no longer continues to meet the conditions for designation,” wrote USCIS Director Francis Cissna in a Nov. 3 memo for Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.


But in an October 17 memo, Cissna’s staff at USCIS directly contradicted this rosy picture. “Many of the conditions prompting the original January 2010 TPS designation persist,” the memo noted. (Both memos are embedded at the bottom of this post.)

In a memo distributed to staff Thursday afternoon, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—the agency tasked with processing citizenship for applicants—announced it has scrubbed a passage of its mission statement of references to the U.S. being a nation of immigrants. Oooo-kay.


Tom here – so we are no longer a nation of immigrants? And it was the son of immigrants from Peru who made that change?

So let’s take a look at all of these statements. They all appear to be from reputable sources. Many of them name names and have links or even copies of documents embedded in them.

But I’ve never heard of splinternews.com before. Have you?

So, let’s apply the Vanderwell rule of 50% to what they have said in these three articles.

Remember what that is?

Let’s assume that half of what these articles say are made up, false, exaggerated or something of that sort.

If they are……

If they are, does what they are saying still ring true?

Here’s the way I see it. People in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department did some of the following:
• Exaggerated the improvement of the conditions in Haiti.
• Attempted to find information that could make the Haitians here on TPS look bad.
• Ignored statements by their own staff that contained a much more realistic view of the conditions in Haiti.
• Ignored statements by State Department people in Haiti and elsewhere that sending these people back would be deterimental to US national security.

Stop and read those last 5 words.

Deterimental (that means bad).

To US National Security – that means dangerous for us if we send them back.

But they ignored those statements.

What else did they do? They continued to work for the US administration after the President referred to Haiti as a #$%$$tHole and said that all Haitians probably have AIDS.

If half of this is true, we have a current administration running the government that, well, I don’t think there’s any other conclusion for it.

They want to get as many people of color out of the United States as they can.

(If you have another conclusion to why these actions are happening, feel free to lay out your theory in the comments below.)

And they will falsify, ignore and attempt to malign people to make that goal happen.

Remember – the 50% rule – and we still have a disturbingly convincing case that the decision to end Temporary Protected Status was not done because Haiti is now a great place to live. Instead it was done for more sinister and uncomfortable reasons.

And as I have friends who live there, I’ve worked for organizations there, and know many Haitians, this makes me sad and angry at the same time.

Tom

The articles in question……

https://splinternews.com/immigration-agency-removes-clause-referring-to-the-u-s-1823250677

https://splinternews.com/dhs-ignored-its-own-staffs-findings-before-ending-human-1825323760

https://splinternews.com/dhs-officials-sought-negative-information-on-haitians-b-1826051056/amp

Once upon a time there was a family.

In this family, there was a Dad. Dad went to work every day to provide for his family.

In this family, there was a Mom.

Mom took care of their children.

As the children grew up, life was busy but it was good.

And if you went down their street, they were part of a community.

But……

Dad and Mom weren’t born in their town.

They were born elsewhere.

But this was their town.

They were raising a family…

They were making a difference….

They were part of their town.

Until one day, the government decided they weren’t part of their town.

Dad went to work one morning.

And he didn’t come home.

Not because he didn’t want to come home.

He didn’t come home because the government said that wasn’t his home and that this wasn’t his town.

The government decided that he was no longer allowed to live there and no longer allowed to be part of that community or to be with his family.

Shock, grief, horror ran through the community, how could this happen?

Mom carried on, even in her grief and shock.

She had to – they have children who needed her – more than ever.

Dad was gone – she had two roles to play.

And then it happened.

The unthinkable again.

Mom went to the store.
And.She.Didn’t.Come.Home
The government decided that she didn’t belong in that town either.

That town where they were raising a family.

That town where many people considered them neighbors and friends.

Why? You might be asking that question. A lot of people asked that question.

Ask a different question – “If Dad and Mom were born there, if Dad and Mom were part of the majority culture and race in the town, do you think they would be hauled away by the government and told they can’t be there?”

So what happened to Dad and Mom?

I don’t know.

I have another question that you and I and we all need to think about……

What town did/does this story take place in?

Berlin Germany in the 1930’s?

Or Grand Rapids Michigan in 2018?

TJV

McDonald’s Billboard – Really?

Okay, maybe I’m the only one who sees it.

Maybe it’s just a billboard run by local McDonalds restaurants.

But I doubt it.

In the environment that we are in, the political, racial and governmental environment, there isn’t a day that goes by where immigration isn’t in the news.

Temporary Protective Status

DACA

The Wall

Sanctuary Cities

Sanctuary Churches

Deportations

Rallies

Articles about how the United States allowed a grand total of 11 refugees from Syria to immigrate in 2017.

Eleven.

We had that many people for a relatively small breakfast birthday party on Saturday.

So what does McDonald’s do?

They run a series of billboards – I know there are at least two in West Michigan, probably more that have the McDonald’s logo on them. And they have pictures of a couple of the McDonald’s frozen drinks.

What words does it say?

“Have an ICE Day!”

You’re probably thinking, yeah, they are talking about frozen drinks and they want you to have an ICE day. In other words, get yourself one of our ice cold frozen drinks and your life will be better.

But given our current environment, ICE isn’t only about frozen water.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE is about a family from my son’s school who got separated because the dad isn’t allowed back in the United States.

ICE is about one of the pastors our church supports (here in Grand Rapids), having government people show up at his door one night asking to see papers and for him to prove that he is here legally. (He’s Hispanic and he’s a US citizen – so he’s fine).

ICE is about a church in Kalamazoo consulting with attorneys about how they can lawfully keep ICE out of their church because there are people staying in their church who are concerned for their safety at the hands of ICE.

ICE is about 60,000 Haitians who are afraid they will have to face the decision – “I have been here since 2010 and the earthquake that wiped out my city, under temporary protection status, my children who have been born since then are US citizens. What do I do?”

Words mean things.

In certain environments and certain times, words mean different things than they did at a different time. We are in a time where the current government has made ICE a word that means way more than just frozen water.

For thousands if not millions of people in the United States, ICE represents a government agency that can disrupt families, ruin lives, fracture communities.

At best, McDonald’s decision to wish you an ICE day is strictly an advertising choice that wasn’t thought through completely.

At worst, McDonald’s just might be telling us something more.

Come on, McDonald’s, you can do better. You know better.

TJV

Gilligan, The Department of Homeland Security and Haiti

I know I’m providing hints at how old I am, but how many of you remember the song that starts the TV sitcom, “Gilligan’s Island?” Especially when it comes to the part about the “three hour tour” that lasted way longer?

In 2017, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security went to visit Haiti to “see for herself” whether things had improved enough to no longer allow the Haitians who are in the United States on emergency status to remain here.

In other words, is there anything in Haiti that they can go back to?

While Gilligan went on a 3 hour tour that got them stranded on an island, apparently, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke could spend four hours in Haiti and determine that things were just fine and that it would be no problem for 60,000 Haitians to show up with no place to live, no job, nothing.

4 hours.

4 hours and a decision that impacts not only the 60,000 Haitians but countless others.

How can you truly analyze the capabilities of a complex and fragmented place like Haiti in four hours?

How can you truly analyze the capabilities of Haiti without spending time in their “used to be Green Belt” that had most of its agriculture wiped out from Hurricane Matthew?

In a place like Haiti with the lack of infrastructure, I can almost guarantee you that Ms. Duke did not come anywhere close to the rural parts of Haiti which are, I’m told, a totally different world than the capital of Haiti, Port Au Prince.

You can’t.

I can’t.

Even the Department of Homeland Security can’t.

So why did they make that decision?

I don’t know, but I have a pretty strong hunch that it has to do with the other decisions that the current administration is making about other immigration issues.

I strongly disagree with Ms. Duke’s assessment of Haiti. I have friends in Haiti who have told me the same thing, some of them in substantially stronger language than I’ve used.

The ramifications for these Haitians who are in the United States, for their children who were born here (and are US Citizens) and for our country and the economic and moral impact are way more significant than most people understand.

I’ll be talking about it more soon and I urge you to talk to people about it, talk to your government representatives. More to come……

It was a four hour tour, not a three hour tour.

But many more people are at significant risk because of that decision and that’s not right.

It’s wrong.

Tom