In The News

Atty. Gen. Sessions again attacks Chicago and other 'sanctuary' cities - LA Times

August 16, 2017

Speaking in Miami, where county authorities hold prisoners for federal immigration agents, Sessions said sanctuary policies are an example of “lawlessness” and again vowed to cut off federal funding to communities that use them.

Although the link between illegal immigration and rising crime is weak — studies show immigrants tend to commit crimes at lower rates than other people — Sessions suggested Miami’s policies contributed to a dramatic drop in murders.

“The same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths — zero,” he said.

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US Rep. Carlos Curbelo seeks more permanent solution for Haitian families living under TPS - Local 10

August 14, 2016

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo spoke to Local 10 News Monday about the future of Haitians who depend on temporary protected status, known as TPS.

The congressman, as well as advocates and lawyers, listened, learned and brainstormed ways to help some 50,000 Haitians whose temporary protected status in the U.S. ends in January.

"There's been tremendous insecurity in the community about this," said Steve Forester, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

"For the South Florida economy, the impact would be disastrous," Curbelo said.

Haitian nationals have been afforded TPS since the 2010 earthquake there, and the policy has been repeatedly renewed because Haiti has not fully recovered.

The country has since endured a cholera epidemic and suffered damage from another hurricane just last year.

The goal is to eventually find a long-term and more permanent solution for Haitians who have built their lives in the U.S.

"People have made ties here," said Adonia Simpson, of Americans for Immigrant Justice. "They have family members here, U.S. citizen children, they own businesses, they own homes."

South Florida lawmakers across party lines unanimously support extending protections for Haitians. 

Curbelo is now considering taking the issue up to the rest of Congress.

"Maybe it's time for members of Congress to put their names next to a legislative vehicle that can provide a permanent solution for these Haitian families who have been a part of our community for so long," he said. 

Copyright 2017 by WPLG - All rights reserved

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Forget About the “Bad Hombres,” Trump Targets America’s Most Vulnerable Immigrants - The Huffington Post

July 13, 2017

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that Trump’s massive deportation machine is not targeting the “bad hombres.”  Instead, hard working, long-term residents who pay taxes and have U.S. citizen children are in the crosshairs.  Arrests of non-criminal undocumented immigrants increased by 150% between February and May 2017 compared to the same time a year ago.

Immigrants with old deportation orders who weren’t priorities for removal under Obama as long as they checked in with ICE officials once a year are now at risk.  Clients who just a few months ago appeared eligible for humanitarian relief or lawful status are suddenly vulnerable to detention and deportation, including victims of domestic violence and human trafficking who cooperated fully with law enforcement and have pending u-visa applications.

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Empresario hispano dona más de un millón de dólares para ofrecer asistencia legal a indocumentados - Primer Impacto

July 3, 2017

Watch here.Ver aqui.

Mike Fernández es uno de los hombres más ricos de Florida y, como muchos inmigrantes, llegó a Estados Unidos sin papeles. Asegura que entiende perfectamente el miedo que viven los indocumentados cuando cruzan la frontera. Por ello, ha puesto en marcha una iniciativa para recaudar cinco millones de dólares que destinará a ayudar a indocumentados.


Immigration activists and lawyers offer Haitians hope, vowing TPS fight is not over

By Jacqueline Charles

June 2, 2017

For 29 years, Evette Prosper has called the United States home. It’s where she attended school, got married and gave birth to two children, now 8 and 7.

An only child, Prosper doesn’t know where her father is. And both her Haitian mother, and her grandmother — who migrated with her from Haiti when she was just a year old — are dead.

But her husband of 11 years is a U.S. citizen. That should place her squarely in the category of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, holders that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred to when, announcing a six-month TPS extension last week for Haitians, it said many of the 58,700 recipients could adjust their status to remain and work legally in the United States on a permanent basis.

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Haitians in U.S. get slight reprieve but worry about future

By Anthony Man and Mike Clary

May 22, 2017

A humanitarian program that has allowed Haitians to legally live and work in the U.S. after a series of calamities befell their country was extended Monday until January — a move that fell far short of the hopes of Haitian-American community leaders and a range of Florida elected officials.

“It’s bad news. We are disappointed,” said Ronald Surin, a Fort Lauderdale attorney with a large Haitian clientele. He said the six-month extension of the program that was set to expire in July is “just a period for people to finalize their plans, gather their belongings and depart this country.”

Haitian-American community leaders wanted a full, 18-month extension of temporary protected status, which prevents deportation but does not grant a path to permanent residence or citizenship.

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Haitians worried about deportation should start planning now, lawyers say

By Jacqueline Charles

May 19, 2017

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AP report: U.S. wants tally of Haitian immigrants’ crimes

By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press

May 9, 2017


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has begun hunting for evidence of crimes committed by Haitian immigrants as it decides whether to allow them to continue participating in a humanitarian program that has shielded tens of thousands from deportation since a devastating earthquake.

The inquiries into any criminal histories of Haitian immigrants were made in internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services emails obtained by The Associated Press. They show the agency’s policy chief also wanted to know how many of the roughly 50,000 Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program were taking advantage of public benefits, which they are not eligible to receive.

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Jonathan Demme, a True Hero and Dear Friend - The Huffington Post

Cheryl Little, Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

April 26, 2017


Today the world lost one of its best. Jonathan Demme was a brilliant filmmaker, true humanitarian, extraordinary human being, and our very own angel.
I first met Jonathan almost three decades ago and was immediately struck by his boundless energy and passion on behalf of our country’s most vulnerable immigrants. In 1994, he was instrumental in reuniting 200 children stranded in Haiti with their U.S. citizen parents. In 1995, he rallied a Hollywood “A List” of friends to obtain humanitarian parole for 100 orphaned Haitian children detained at Guantanamo. Later, after learning that Haitian women and children were languishing in horrific conditions while in immigration custody, he jumped on a plane to Miami to hold a news conference and was instrumental in securing their release. He also worked tirelessly to shine a light on the plight of Haitian refugees through his award-winning documentaries.
Jonathan didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk, taking time to visit immigrant detainees and calling for much needed change. Most recently, he used his voice to condemn the inhumane treatment of Central American children held in “hieleras” (“ice boxes”)—overcrowded cells on the Southwest Texas border where temperatures are so cold that detainees' lips crack and turn blue.
Jonathan embodied all that is good in this world and so many of the values that we as Americans hold dear. He believed that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to pursue their dreams and used his incredible talents as a filmmaker and the platform he earned through his well-deserved success to improve the lives of others. He is a testament to the good that lives in each of us when we are able to look past perceived differences and recognize the humanity in others – when we recognize that too many don’t have the opportunity to live freely and safely simply because of where they were born.
Jonathan served on AI Justice’s Honorary Board since its founding 21 years ago, and his commitment to our work was unwavering. While changing countless lives for the better and bringing about systemic change, he worked without any expectation of recognition or reward. No matter the issue, Jonathan was a steadfast champion for justice and incapable of remaining idle while others suffered. He will continue to inspire all of us who to work to ensure liberty and justice for all.

Jonathan was a true role model and hero. I admired him crazily, loved him so, and knowing him is one of my life’s greatest blessings. 

Read on The Huffington Post here.


Tens of thousands of Haitians could be sent back to Haiti if Trump agency has its way

By Jacqueline Charles, April 21, 2017


The Trump administration is recommending sending tens of thousands of Haitians back to their homeland because it believes conditions have significantly improved in the disaster-prone, poverty-stricken nation.

But the move comes as more than 40,000 Haitians continue to call makeshift shelters and tents homes — seven years after Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake — and as severe hunger and housing crises plague the country’s southern region six months after a deadly Hurricane Matthew wiped out roads, home and farmland.

“If they send everyone back to Haiti, they might as well be sending us to die,” said Cadeus Chaleus, 70, who after 16 years of living as an undocumented immigrant in Miami has spent the past seven years living without fear of deportation. “Despite what they say, things have not improved at home.”

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