Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen Ask President Obama for Immediate Humanitarian Aid for Haiti and for TPS for Haitians in the U.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC- Congressmen Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), sent a letter today to President Barack Obama requesting immediate humanitarian aid for Haiti, shortly after hearing the news that a powerful earthquake struck near the capital. Additionally, in their letter to President Obama, the Congressmen reiterated their request for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals residing in the U.S.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti tonight as emergency responders work to ensure the safety of their citizens. It is important that the U.S. make available all possible humanitarian assistance to our friend and neighbor, Haiti.” –Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti as they face this tragedy. I strongly urge President Obama to immediately extend any and all forms of aid to assist in recovery efforts." –Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
"The US and the rest of the international community must get involved in assessing the needs of the Haitian people and sending the appropriate humanitarian supplies as needed in a quick yet efficient manner. The US must stop deporting Haitian nationals due to the crisis in this already devastated country.” –Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Please find the complete text of the letter below:
January 12, 2010
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Earlier today a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, just a few miles from the capital, Port-au-Prince. Although the effects of the earthquake are still not fully known, it is reasonable to believe that such a powerful earthquake could have a tragic impact on the residents of Haiti, especially the nearly two million people living near Port-au-Prince. Therefore, we are respectfully requesting, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, that you provide the necessary emergency coordination and assistance to Haiti in order to stem a possible humanitarian crisis, and that you grant Haitian nationals in the United States Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Early reports indicate that a hospital collapsed, that roads and bridges were destroyed and that homes and other buildings have crumbled. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it is very unlikely that the country will have the necessary resources to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake, especially since Haiti is still struggling to recover after a string of natural disasters destroyed many parts of the country in recent years.
Because of the horrible humanitarian crisis we believe may occur in Haiti, we are respectfully requesting that your Administration take immediate steps to assess the situation and provide humanitarian relief to Haiti.
We also respectfully request that you grant TPS to Haitian nationals in the United States. The combined destruction from today’s catastrophic earthquake and the previous storms clearly makes forced repatriation of Haitians hazardous to their safety at this time. We strongly believe that it is for such a situation that Congress created TPS.
Thank you for your kind consideration of this important matter.
Lincoln Diaz-Balart Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Mario Diaz-Balart