I am writing to you on behalf of my niece, a 4 year old little girl who is unable to write to you herself. She is bright and beautiful, and a joy to her mother who calls her, My Laura. Playing with friends, eating pizza, and having her nails polished are some of Laura’s favorite activities. Her heroes are Dora the Explorer and Hannah Montana. She has many talents, but the most remarkable is her ability to speak fluent English with the peculiar accent of a southern Belle. Hearing her speak, one would think that she had been born and raised in the heart of Texas.
Laura was born in South Florida where she currently lives with her two older brothers and her mother and father. Unfortunately, by the end of this summer, Laura and her family will be forced to relocate to another part of the world. They will be sent to Haiti which is only 700 miles away from where Laura was born, but light years away from being a friendly place to raise a family. Life in Haiti today is very insecure. It is a place with insufficient schools, hospitals, and other basic infrastructure. It is a place where desperate parents sometimes give their children away to strangers in the hope that they will be able to give them a better life. The situation is so dire that every year, the U.N extends its mission there.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush, I need your help to keep Laura and her family safe. You can do this by granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the Haitian mothers and fathers who are currently working in the United States. With the stroke of a pen, you can make it possible for Laura and her family to remain in the safe haven that they have found in America. By signing the executive order to grant TPS, you will not only be helping Laura, but you will be bringing stability to Haiti and security to Florida’s shores. Despite ongoing efforts to improve the standard of living in Haiti, it remains a place that is inhospitable to children. The people of Haiti need food and water. They need electricity. They need roads. They need education and health care. They need policemen. They need jobs and money. The United States cannot provide all that Haiti needs, but it can prevent the situation from getting worse. TPS for the estimated 30,000 Haitians working here is one of the most concrete and substantial aid that the U.S. can give. It is wise of Haiti to request it and wise of the U.S. to give it.
Haitian Americans have been part of the fabric of America since its beginning. In 1772, a young Haitian pioneer founded the city of Chicago. In 1779, seven hundred and fifty Haitian patriots shed their blood at the Battle of Savannah during the American Revolution. In the early 1800’s, Haitian immigrants arriving in New Orleans made their contributions to the city’s famous Creole culture. Today, one million Americans who consider Haiti their ancestral homeland, continue to work hard, as health care providers, taxi drivers, custodial workers, at all levels of our society, to provide for their families and to strengthen their communities. Among them is my own stepmother, a woman who cleaned the offices inside the World Trade Center for more than 25 years before that unspeakable event.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush, please help. In life, when it is easy to help, the opportunity to do so should not be missed. For the sake of Laura, please grant Haitian families the temporary sanctuary that they need. Thank you. Sincerely Yours,