News

Spreading the word about Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

MANY VOICES, ONE MESSAGE


Do not fear...Community resources are there for help with TPS
Change Takes Faith and Action.
What: Press Conference
When: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 10:00 a.m.
Where: Flatbush Reformed Church, 890 Flatbush Ave., corner of Church Ave.
Visuals: Clergy, Banners


On the front steps of the historic Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church in Flatbush, Brooklyn, amidst the noise and congestion of a busy commercial street, Brooklyn Congregations United (BCU) along with allies and supporters, announced at a press conference yesterday its continued commitment to informing Haitians about Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for undocumented Haitians following the earthquake in January. People came from as far as Belleville, NJ to join the crowd gathered on the corner of Church and Flatbush Avenues.
"Right here, we have the largest Haitian community outside Haiti and Miami," said Brooklyn Councilmember Jumaane Williams. "Now we have to step up and catch up-our population needs to know that TPS can be trusted."

Temporary Protected Status allows eligible people to have work authorization and protection against deportation for the duration of the protected status. Those eligible for TPS-Haiti had to have been living in the United States on or before the January 12th earthquake. The extended registration deadline for TPS is January 18, 2011. Initially, the 180-day registration period was from January 21, through July 20, 2010. It is estimated that there are thousands of New Yorkers still eligible. Compared to over 30,000 who have applied in Florida, only about 7,500 in New York have.
"Somebody might be scared," said Iranie Denis who was granted TPS during the first round of applications. "Now I have a social security number and work papers." Denis looks forward to finding a job to support herself and her 11 year old daughter, and furthering her education to create better opportunities for herself.
"We can help," said Andrea Quarantillo, New York Office Director for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "We want you to know that you cannot be deported under TPS, that there are possibilities for application fee waivers, and that information on your application cannot be shared except under strict court orders," she said. Quarantillo also indicated that the TPS time period would likely be extended beyond 18 months.

For those Haitians who came to the U.S. after the earthquake, USCIS offers assistance in obtaining Deferred Action Status or an Extension of Authorized Stay in the United States. Also recently granted TPS, Thierry Larosiliere says, "It takes guts to leave your country, but it also takes faith. Immigrants bring new ideas, our experience brings a new 'take' and a new 'look'....please embrace us."
Brooklyn Councilmember, Mathieu Eugene, longtime advocate for Haiti and "pioneer of TPS" urged all who are qualified for TPS to apply. "Have no fear, do not fear deportations. A big thank you to USCIS, to our community members and leaders, to the clergy, and thank you to BCU for their commitment to this issue. Let's all continue to work together."

BCU was also joined by representatives of Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and NY State Senator Kevin Parker, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, Catholic Bishop Guy Sansaricq, Head of the National Haitian Apostolate, Monsignor Joseph Malgreca, Pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Sully Guillaume-Sam, Curator of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, and representatives from 1199 SEIU, Brooklyn Defender Services, CAMBA, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Catholic Migration Office of the Brooklyn Diocese, Erasmus Neighborhood Federation, Haitian Family Support Center of the Haitian First Church of the Brethren, International Humanitarian Outreach Ministries Inc., Lutheran Social Services of NY, NY Legal Assistance Group, and NYS Haitian Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Center.
Brooklyn Congregations United is a non-profit coalition of 25 faith-based groups from Christian, Muslim and Jewish congregations that works on issues of social change at the neighborhood, community, city and statewide levels, as well as on national initiatives. BCU is affiliated with the PICO National Network.

890 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226

(718) 287-4334

info@brooklyncongregationsunited.org



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