Ellie Happel in Miami Herald: Ending TPS for Haitians Was Unlawful and Racist

On August 22, 2018, Global Justice Clinic Haiti Program Director Ellie Happel published an op-ed in the Miami Herald arguing that the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for Haiti was unlawful and racist. The op-ed is accompanied by video featuring children of Haitian holders of Temporary Protected Status asking the government not to imperil the lives of their parents and their families.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terminated TPS for Haiti in November 2017, following seven years of extension. This decision reflected a departure from prior analyses of country conditions and, Happel argues, belies the continued relevance of Frederick Douglass’s 19th century critique of US policy towards Haiti in the 19th century–that the country had “not yet forgiven Haiti for being black.”

Happel’s op-ed references lawsuits brought against DHS by the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and several other organizations arguing that this decision violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. LDF’s legal complaint cites facts and analysis from the Global Justice Clinic report, Extraordinary Conditions:  A Statutory Analysis of Haiti’s Qualification for TPS. These arguments have been bolstered by records divulged as a result of a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the Global Justice Clinic and the National Immigration Project, with ongoing legal counsel from NYU School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic. The suit was brought against DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to document the reasons behind the US government’s decision to terminate TPS for Haiti.

Learn more about the Global Justice Clinic’s Rights of Haitians in the US Project here.


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