Press Release

Haitian Civil Rights Organizations Join NAACP and LDF in TPS Lawsuit 

April 18, 2018

Media contact: Malik Russell | mrussell@naacpnet.org 

BALTIMORE, MD (April 18, 2018) – The NAACP, the nation’s premier grassroots civil rights organization, filed an amended complaint in its ongoing lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its decision to rescind the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian immigrants. Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR) and the Haitian Lawyers’ Association (HLA) have now joined the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF).  

 The lawsuit claims that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), former Acting DHS Secretary Elaine C. Duke, and current DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson discriminated against Haitian immigrants with TPS, in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

 “The current administration has made public hostility toward immigrants of color a point of pride,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind TPS status for Haitian immigrants is clearly an extension of that attitude and an example of the consequences of prejudice applied to policy. The NAACP welcomes the expertise and solidarity of HWHR and HLA in this lawsuit, as we persist in the protection of our Haitian members and in the pursuit of justice for immigrant communities.”  

  “The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind TPS for Haitian immigrants was based on their race and ethnicity,” said Samuel Spital, LDF’s Director of Litigation. “Our Constitution unequivocally prohibits any government action infected by such racial discrimination. Every person is equal before the law, and the court must condemn this Administration for its intentional discriminatory practices.” 

“The Haitian Lawyers Association decided to join this critical lawsuit because the decision to terminate TPS is unsubstantiated particularly given the fact that the conditions in Haiti that gave rise to the original January 2010 TPS designation continue to exist,” said Pedro Gassant, HLA President. “We believe that this lawsuit has merit and painstakingly details the factual and legal arguments as to why the Administration’s decision to terminate TPS for Haitian nationals is unlawful.”
“Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees provides support to hundreds of families who seek refuge in the U.S.,” said Ninaj Raoul of HWHR. “The Department of Homeland Security’s decision is a brutally cruel blow to those who have found safety in the United States after facing natural and man-made disasters in Haiti. We vehemently oppose of the Department’s stance and we are proud to join NAACP, LDF, and HLA in seeking a solution in the courts.” 

Read the full amended complaint here. 

 

 

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here. 

 

Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. 

 

Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR) was founded in 1992 to respond to the human needs of Haitian refugees and immigrants in the U.S., fleeing persecution.  Through education, community organizing, leadership development and collective action, HWHR members empower themselves as they struggle for social and economic justice. HWHR conducts leadership, organizing and worker education trainings for adult literacy learners where Haitian women make global connections to local realities.  HWHR has also provided solidarity support to women-run organizations that respond to manmade and natural disasters in Haiti. 

 

Founded in 1997, the Haitian Lawyers Association (HLA) is a 501(c)(3), a non-profit voluntary bar association in the State of Florida. HLA’s members include lawyers, law professors, law students and judges of Haitian, Haitian-American descent, as well as those who are not of Haitian descent, but have a vested interest in issues affecting the Haitian community. HLA is an organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for the legal rights of the Haitian community. 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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