Sending aid to Haiti isn’t the only thing we can do to help the country. We can also help Haitians help themselves. The US could grant Haitians in the United States Temporary Protected Status (TPS). It’s a kind of temporary immigration relief offered to countries that have suffered severe disasters. TPS lets nationals of the disaster-hit country apply for work authorization, allows them to travel outside the US, and prevents them from deportation.
TPS for Haitian nationals would allow them to work in the US and send money home to their families, providing relief to individuals and boosting GDP at a time the country needs it desperately. It would let them travel to Haiti for funerals or hospital visits and still return to the US.
Remittances from overseas have been shown to be a powerful tool in international development and an important part of development finance. They are a steady, reliable source of income for developing nations. We should not be denying that support to Haiti at a time when the country needs it most.
The US has already stopped deporting Haitian nationals from the US, but it hasn’t made any move to grant TPS yet. To advocate Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, you can contact the White House and mention your support for TPS.
Image: Flickr (UN Photo)