SENATE STATE GOVERNMENT, WAGERING, TOURISM & HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMITTEE
SENATE RESOLUTION No. 23
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: FEBRUARY 1, 2010
The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee reports favorably Senate Resolution No. 23.
This resolution respectfully memorializes Congress to pass H.R.144, the “Haitian Protection Act of 2009,” which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate Haiti as a country whose qualifying nationals may be eligible for temporary protected status.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake, estimated by its government to have immediately resulted in the death of at least 100,000 persons and hundreds of thousands of injuries, and said by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to have directly affected at least 3.5 million of the country’s 9 million inhabitants. The earthquake leveled entire neighborhoods in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and destroyed much of the physical infrastructure, setting forth a humanitarian crisis of astounding proportions.
Prior to the 2010 earthquake, Haiti was devastated by four tropical storms within a three week period in August and September 2008. These storms killed hundreds of people, uprooted tens of thousands more, and obliterated houses, roads and crops. Moreover, at the time the storms struck Haiti, the country was in the midst of a devastating food crisis that had sparked deadly riots and led to the removal of its Prime Minister. President Préval of Haiti has announced that the country is unable to receive Haitian nationals deported by the United States until Haiti recovers and has asked that qualifying nationals be granted temporary protected status.
The designation would allow Haitian nationals to remain in the United States for up to 18 months and would authorize them to seek employment during that time. Such designation has been granted to qualifying nationals of other countries in similar circumstances, and should now be granted to qualifying Haitian nationals.