Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Congressman And Woman Take Congressional Delegation Trip To Haiti

Congressional delegation surveys hurricane devastated Haiti; highlights need for additional U.S. aid and for temporary protected status for Haitians in U.S.

Washington D.C. � Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Congressman Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL), and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clark (D-NY) traveled to Haiti to see firsthand the situation there after four devastating hurricanes hit the country in the last several weeks, including the latest Hurricane Ike. The Congressmembers, along with several others, have signed onto a request by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) for immediate disaster relief for Haiti. They also called on the Bush Administration to grant temporary protected status (TPS) for Haitians in the U.S. to enable them to send money and aid back to their country. To date, the Administration has ignored requests for TPS for Haitians. According to the very preliminary estimates, over 600 people are dead and tens of thousands are homeless in the impoverished country as a direct result of these four major storms.

Rep. Edwards released the following statement:

"Hurricane Ike left its damaging mark from the Caribbean to Texas and Louisiana. My thoughts and prayers go out to the storm's latest victims in Texas and Louisiana. The Congress will make certain that sufficient resources are available for relief, recovery and rebuilding of these devastated areas.

"As we take action to help our fellow Americans recover from Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana, we can not forget the pain and suffering of millions of our neighbors to the south in Haiti who bore Ike's wrath as the hurricane made its way through the Caribbean to the gulf coast of Texas. In Haiti, I witnessed firsthand the destruction left in the wake of four hurricanes that hit Haiti in rapid succession -- major bridges and roads destroyed, water, sewer, and power infrastructure destroyed, virtually all of the rice and food crop under water, animal carcasses scattered across the countryside, hundreds dead and thousands homeless. The people of Haiti are in desperate need of food, shelter, medical supplies and drinking water.

"I join my Congressional colleagues in calling for additional resources to help bring immediate relief to the people of Haiti. I applaud the efforts of our service members on the USS Kearsarge for supplying basic necessities to victims in the remotest areas of Haiti. They are the Haitians lifeline in this crisis. If we do not act immediately to do even more, what is already a humanitarian disaster in Haiti will only worsen and possibly threaten internal stability and security in the hemisphere.

"As an additional measure, the U.S. government should grant temporary protected status to Haitians currently in the U.S. After seeing the situation on the ground in Haiti, we can not, with a clear conscience, deport these individuals back to Haiti under the current conditions. The money and supplies they send back to their families is critical to helping Haiti recover."

Flooded rice field in Haiti. | Photo by Rep. Donna F. Edwards

Road destroyed due to flood waters. | Photo by Rep. Donna F. Edwards

Aerial view of the destruction. | Photo by Rep. Donna F. Edwards

Contact: Dan Weber -

Source: DonnaEdwards.House.Gov

No comments:

Post a Comment