What's up Little Haiti

A new bill would allow all TPS recipients to apply for permanent residency




As the Trump administration weighs whether to end Temporary Protected Status for thousands of Haitians and Salvadorans, three members of Congress are preparing legislation that would allow every TPS recipient to apply for permanent residency.

The bill, dubbed the ASPIRE Act, would let every person covered by TPS on Jan. 1, 2017, apply for permanent residency by proving before a judge that they would face extreme hardship if forced to return home.

“The Temporary Protected Status program was created with bipartisan support to protect human life,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who plans to introduce the legislation with Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal. “It advances American interests and values and we must work in a bipartisan manner to do the right thing and protect hardworking immigrants from being sent back to countries where their physical well being could be cast into doubt.”

The bill also creates a new form of “protected status” for TPS recipients who have been in the U.S. for at least five years. Instead of waiting for renewal or revocation of their status every 18 months, current TPS recipients would be able to stay in the U.S. for a renewable six-year period, though they would not be eligible for permanent residency if they cannot prove extreme hardship.

Clarke’s proposal is more expansive than a bill sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo that would provide a path to permanent residency for TPS recipients from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras who arrived in the U.S. before Jan. 13, 2011. Ros-Lehtinen and Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart have signed on to Curbelo’s bill.

The ASPIRE Act would also correct what Clarke’s office calls an “error” in existing law that requires TPS recipients who arrived in the U.S. illegally to leave the U.S. and reenter to adjust their status. Instead, a TPS designation would be enough of a reason to apply for permanent residency without having to leave the country.

Last week, the Trump administration announced that TPS for about 2,000 Nicaraguans will end in January 2019, while about 60,000 Hondurans will get a six-month TPS extension until July 2018 instead of the typical 18 months. The Department of Homeland Security did not announce a decision for Haiti and El Salvador. A decision on Haiti must be made by Thanksgiving.

Clarke’s office said her bill could attract Republican support because it does not automatically give TPS recipients a path to permanent residency. A judge must find that a TPS recipient would face extreme hardship if they return home.

“We’re not handing out green


Case file: Girls kidnapped to serve as sex slaves:

The children were discovered in a public beach - Kaliko Beach. It was a Kalico patron who alerted the police about the presence of these minors in one of the rooms. 

The police investigated and made several arrests. Among the suspects involved in this scandal were Haitian nationals, but also foreigners.

The public learned that those arrested for this case of human trafficking, were later released by four substitutes of the Justice Department, without any form of prosecution.

These four substitutes of the Public Prosecutor's department of Port-au-Prince have since been dismissed by the Minister of Justice and Law and Order. The dismissal letters, signed by Secretary Heidi Fortune, were approved by Prime Minister Jacques Guy Lafontant.

The four substitutes who allowed the release of the human trafficking suspects are: Jean Abner Emile, Jean Louis Elysée, Berthol Toussaint and Kenzy Joseph.

Péguy Jean, journalist

Haiti police accused of executing civilians

The deaths of multiple civilians in a police operation in Port-au-Prince has shocked local residents as the government battles gangs in the wake of UN peacekeeper’s  departure one month ago.

A police operation that ended in a school in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, has left at least seven civilians dead.

Residents say the number of deceased is higher, and some were coldly executed by the police.

The accusations of rights abuses come as Haiti re-establishes its armed forces after the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers.

Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo reports from Port-au-Prince.


Deporting 50,000 Haitians would hurt both Haiti and  the United States

Orlando Sentinel, Nov. 20, 2017 - As most people in America look forward to Thanksgiving next week, some 50,000 Haitians in this country — including more than 3,000 in Central Florida — are worrying about whether they’ll soon be sent back to a country still reeling from a series of disasters.

A textbook case for TPS

The Obama administration first granted Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, allowing them to live and work legally in the United States, after a massive earthquake hit their country in 2010. It killed 300,000 people, destroyed much of Haiti’s infrastructure, and left more than 1.5 million homeless. It was a textbook case for TPS, which gives the secretary of homeland security authority to protect foreign nationals in the United States from deportation, and allow them to obtain work permits, when circumstances in their home country — wars, natural disasters, epidemics or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions” — would cast doubt on their safe return, or prevent their country from successfully reintegrating them. TPS is not a pathway to permanent legal status or citizenship.

TPS was limited to Haitians in this country who arrived by January 2011. These are not undocumented immigrants. They are living — and more than 80 percent are working — in the United States with the federal government’s explicit permission. They are law-abiding; any Haitian convicted of a felony or even a pair of misdemeanors is ineligible for TPS. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they are an important part of the work force repairing hurricane damage in Texas and Florida.

TPS has been extended several times for this group since 2011 as Haiti, not fully recovered from the earthquake, has suffered more calamities. A cholera epidemic imported by United Nations troops has killed more than 9,000 people and infected more than 800,000, overwhelming the country’s limited medical resources. Last year the worst storm to hit Haiti in 52 years, Hurricane Matthew, killed more than 1,000 people, displaced 175,000 and caused more than jumi billion in damage. And after the Trump administration decided earlier this year to grant another six-month TPS extension for Haitians, Hurricane Irma roared past the island and delivered yet another blow to its infrastructure as well as its farms and food supply.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has argued that conditions have improved in Haiti enough to end TPS for Haitians, but his own department in September warned its employees not to travel to some parts of the country because of security problems persisting in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

‘Integral members of our neighborhoods, workplaces ...’

TPS for Haitians is set to expire on Jan. 22, but the deadline for extending it is next week. The legal authority to do so rests with the acting homeland security secretary, Elaine Duke. Last week 41 U.S. mayors, including Orlando’s Buddy Dyer and five others from Florida, wrote to Duke to plead for an 18-month extension. They argued convincingly that their communities and economies would be harmed without an extension. “Haitian TPS recipients are integral members of our neighborhoods, workplaces, religious communities, schools, and health care institutions,” the mayors wrote.

In September, Florida’s two U.S. senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, and eight U.S. House members from the state — five Democrats and threeRepublicans — also wrote to Duke to request an 18-month extension. “The Haitian people, and now their government, continue to work diligently to rebuild the country after the earthquake, cholera outbreak and Hurricane Matthew,” the lawmakers wrote. “This work will be made more difficult if the country must also welcome back over 50,000 Haitian nationals at once.” This week Nelson and GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami met with Duke to deliver their appeal in person.

Haiti doesn’t have enough jobs, food, shelter and services to meet the needs of its current population, let alone 50,000 more people. They would face unemployment, malnutrition, homelessness and poverty. Deporting these Haitians also would deprive their desperately poor country of the money they have been sending back home from their U.S. earnings. Ironically, sending them back to a country not ready for them could trigger a fresh exodus of refugees who would head for the United States.

The deadline for a decision from the Trump administration on TPS for Haitians is Thanksgiving. The only verdict that makes sense is to extend TPS, ideally for the 18 months that the mayors and Florida’s members of Congress have requested. Both the United States and Haiti could be truly thankful for that outcome.

Haiti 2016’s Worst Weather Victim


 Regional Editor

 -BONN, GERMANY – Haiti, which was hit last year by its strongest hurricane in 50 years, has been ranked the country worst-affected by extreme weather in 2016, in an index published Thursday.It will be interesting to see next November who takes the 2017 top spot.

Zimbabwe, which suffered severe drought followed by floods, came second. Fiji, recovering from the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the island nation, was ranked third in the Climate Risk Index published annually by research group Germanwatch.qui

Fiji is president of this year’s U.N. climate talks, where small island states are pushing for urgent action to curb planet-warming emissions, which are expected to bring worse storms, floods, droughts and rising sea levels.

‘When Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, more than half our population was displaced and disturbed,’ said Joshua Wycliffe, Fiji’s permanent secretary for local government, housing and environment.

‘And there’s not been a day when we’ve gone to work not knowing when another cyclone is happening,’ he said on the sidelines of the November 6-17 Bonn talks.

When a storm can severely impact the economy and health of a relatively large island state like Fiji, ‘you can imagine the devastation it can do to a smaller island nation’, he added.

Between 1997 and 2016, more than 520,000 people died in more than 11,000 extreme weather events including storms, floods and heat waves worldwide, the index said. The economic damages amounted to about .16 trillion, according to Germanwatch.

Nine of the ten worst-affected nations in that period were developing countries, with Honduras, Haiti and Myanmar suffering most, the index showed.

‘But industrialized nations must also do more to address climate impacts that they are beginning to feel at home,’ said David Eckstein of Germanwatch, one of the authors of the index.

The United States, for example, ranks 10th in the index for 2016, with 267 deaths and .7 billion in damages caused by extreme weather, he said.

The index does not take into account slow-onset climate risks such as rising sea levels or mts elting glaciers.

Some countries like Haiti, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are repeatedly hit by extreme weather and have no time to recover fully, Germanwatch noted.

‘Especially in smaller states, the consequences are hardly bearable,’ said Eckstein. Those losses underline how important it is to help poor countries adapt to climate change and deal with the damage caused by extreme weather, he said.

‘Especially at a climate summit under Fijian presidency, these issues have to receive the highest priority,’ he added.


Olivier Noël receives the help of a billionaire for his project

Olivier Noël, presented his company, Simple DNA, to the U.S. broadcast television show Shark Tank recently. Shark Tank is a show about entrepreneurship. It is one of the most popular TV shows in the United States.

The concept is simple: entrepreneurs alternately present their product or business ideas to investors. These investors decide whether to finance the company according to the relevance of the pitch.

On Sunday, November 12th, Olivier Noël presented his company in front of the 5 million television viewers who watch Shark Tank every week. Simple DNA charmed the investors.

After having described the concept of "Simple DNA," Olivier Noel reached an agreement with the billionaire Mark Cuban. In spite of the initial offer of the British billionaire Richard Branson for 25 % of the company, Olivier preferred the much more interesting offer of 200,000-dollar by Mark Cuban for 20 % of the company. The famous owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team is according to the Forbes Magazine the 211th richest in the world with a wealth estimated at 2.6 billion dollars.

Simple DNA can enlarge its operations with Cuban's investment, and therefore accelerate its growth. Two new partners, Olivier and Mark, reached an agreement that seemed to delight both parties.

Simple DNA offers a service a saliva donation which allows donors to contribute to scientific research while earning money on the supplied samples. The system is simple. The donor performs a questionnaire after having completed a profile on the company’s Web site.

The researchers working with Simple DNA formulate a specific request. The team selects the donors compatible with the request to pair them.

Once accepted, Simple DNA sends a kit and a device which allows it to share DNA and forward it to the researchers.

The participant is entitled to a compensation which he can pocket or share with an organization of his choice.

The company has a simple and clear ambition: create a platform which allows to help scientific research while making money.

Olivier Noel had the idea to create DNA Simple following the difficulties that he had as a researcher to find samples of DNA in rural areas. Simple DNA helps to solve this problem, which many researchers in the United States face.

Olivier Noel is an alumnus of the Institution Saint-Louis of Gonzague, and spent his childhood in Haiti. He attended Queens College, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and an honorary research in biomedical sciences.

In 2011, he continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry and in molecular genetics.

He is a member of the prestigious Forbes Magazine’s prestigious list “30 Under 30,” which honors young people under thirty in the field of science.

A presidential decree appoints Jodel Lesage as the head of the new military body in charge of rebuilding the Haitian Army

President Jovenel Moise chose a former colonel of the FAD' H - Jodel Lesage, to manage the team whose responsibility will be the reconstitution of Haiti’s armed forces.

Jodel Lesage, according to colleagues at of former Armed forces, was a model officer who was disciplined, competent and honest in the ranks.

Due to his qualifications, in 2004, the Prime Minister Gérard Latortue chose him as head of the very first office of management for displaced servicemen. Also, in 2007, he was a member of the security team set up by former president René Préval.

Jodel Lesage is part of the class ‘74 of the military academy. For his new mission, which will last two years, Jodel Lesage will be accompanied by a team of five to seven former officers of Haiti’s defunct Armed forces.