Saturday, September 19, 2009

American Friends Service Committee

First my thanks go out to the Board and staff of the SERO region of AFSC in helping to assemble what I hope will be the first delivery of school kits for Haiti.

The AFSC Florida office now has three boxes, each 22 pounds, ready to ship. We are now working along with the Lambi Fund and members of the Haitian government, to see that the shipment is deliver to Haiti for the least cost, free of duty.

I ask for Friends further attention to Haiti on two matters.

First is to urge the Federal government to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians now living illegally in the US. Even the Miami Herald has come out in favor of this. Please call or write the White House on this issue.

The second is to support a bill which has been introduced in Congress to help with the establishment of a new program to bring students from the Haitian Diaspora back to serve as volunteers.

I would ask that all Meetings in SAYMA take these two issues under consideration and then perhaps minute their support.

From there, such support can be transmitted to FCNL which can really lobby for these two items.

Many many thanks to all of you who have heard my concerns for Haiti.

Elizabeth Roebling,
Asheville Friends Meeting,
Santo Domingo Worship Group
Dominican Republic

Michael Deibert

Michael Deibert, author of perhaps the best book that I have read on Haiti,Notes from the last Testament, continues his concern for Haiti on his Haiti, continues his concern for here

I would direct those of my readers who have a continuing interest in Haiti to both purchase his book, here

and follow along with his work.

Michael is gifted journalist and a brave war correspondent.

He is currently working on his new book on The Democratic Republic of Congo, where he served for six months.

Dual Citzenship for Haitians

September 16, 2009



The Haitian Congress extends its gratitude to the 21 Senators and to the 71
Deputies of the 48th Legislature who, on September 14, 2009, had the vision
and the courage to vote in favor of President Préval's proposal to recommend
to the 49th Legislature that the Constitution of 1987 be amended to, among
other things, grant Dual Citizenship to Haitians who have become naturalized
citizens of other nations as well as to their children. Two-third of the
Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies was needed for the chance to amend the
Constitution of 1987 to survive and the votes were delivered. This is an
extremely important step for our future.

We are thankful to you, our brothers and sisters in Haiti who have
persevered in the face of enormous difficulties both natural and man-made.
The vote that you cast on September 14, 2009 is a tremendous step towards
the reintegration of the Haitian Diaspora. We remain convinced that one of
the key links to sustainable recovery of Haiti is through the fully
integrated partnership of Haitians inside the country with those of us who
live in the Diaspora. We can no longer afford the mistake of excluding and
of stigmatizing Haiti's sons and daughters who have had to leave their
motherland for political or economic reasons. Bravo to the courageous
political leaders who recognize our inalienable rights as Haitians and call
for amending the Constitution of 1987 so that we are no longer considered

Haitians in the Diaspora are not and could never be "Foreigners." We are
Haitians in every sense of the word. We have never abandoned home. That is
why we maintain an extraordinary commitment to our families back home by
sending nearly 2 billion dollars in remittance per year. That is why we
re-establish communities wherever we are to celebrate and practice our
culture. That is why we fight to protect the best interest of our people
wherever we are. That is why we follow, astutely, the affairs of our
country. That is why we are disappointed with every setback and elated with
every inch of progress in our nation. That is why we remain passionately
engaged in the search of a path for recovery.

Even those of us who were born outside of Haiti or who were born in Haiti
and grew up abroad, we are not foreigners. We wave our Haitian flag. We
hold on to our history. We yearn for our mothers' and fathers' motherland
because it is part of our proud humanity. We too, are Haitians by our
precious blood! As the children of the Haitian Diaspora, we can and should
play a significant role in the communities in which we live to help shape
the foreign policies of nations such as the United States, Canada, France
and others towards Haiti. As well, we have the potential to make a great
impact on the future of Haiti as direct contributors if we are allowed to
regain our Haitians citizenship.

The Work has just begun. The Haitian Congress calls on its partners such as
Haitian American National Alliance (HANA), Alliance of Haitians Living
Overseas, Haitian-American Leadership Conference (HALEC), Haiti Tourism
Development, The Haitian League (THL), National Organization for the
Advancement of Haitians (NOAH), The National Alliance, Organization
Communautaire pour le Development Rurale (OCODER), Jeunesse en Marche pour
l'Avenir, (JMA), Civil Society and others, to name a few, to intensify the
work to ensure that the 49th Legislature votes the appropriate amendments
into law. We call on all of our Haitian brothers and sisters who agree
that the reintegration of the Haitian Diaspora is strategically
determinative of a brighter future to join us in this important campaign.

The Victory today belongs to all Haitians whether you supported the call or
not because, independent of our will, it is a great step in the right
direction. For more information, please call the Haitian Congress at
847-475-5856. Also visit our website at
www.haitianCongress.organd the to become familiar with our history and our work
in other areas.

Together, we can win!


Lionel Jean-Baptiste, Esq.
Chairman, Haitian Congress

About the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti
The Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti is a Not-for-Profit 501c3 umbrella
organization governed by a 13-member Board. The Board is composed of
Haitians working together to put forth programs to help fortify the Haitian
community in the Diaspora which can in turn help fortify Haiti and its
institutions. The Board is led by its executive committee which implements
the Board's decisions and oversees the different areas of work of the

About the Haitian Congress for Civic Engagement (PAC)
The Haitian Congress for Civic Engagement ("Haitian Congress PAC") is a
Political Action Committee founded by Haitians who have been working on
different fronts over a number of years to empower and educate about their
rights wherever they are.

1227 Dodge Avenue .
Evanston, IL 60202
Tel: 847-475-5856 . Fax: 847-424-1049
e:mail: .

Even the Florida papers are for TPS

This is the editorial from the Miami Herald.

It would certainly help if Quakers would move this issue to the top of their agendas in their Meetings. Then they could examine the issue, speak to it, and get the Quaker Friends Committee on National Legislation to lobby for it. This is something that Quakers do very effectively and very well.

We are few but together, we can do justice.

Let the Haitians stay

From religious and business leaders to local Republican and Democratic members of Congress to hip-hop artists -- all are calling on the Obama administration to grant temporary protected status to thousands of undocumented Haitians living in the United States.

It's only fair that Haitians already here receive TPS after a series of four deadly storms destroyed Haiti's crops, left a million homeless and more than 1,000 dead last year. Deporting them to a country that's in crisis, where Haitians count on remittances from those able to work here, is short-sighted. And cruel.

Other immigrant groups, such as Salvadorans and Hondurans, have been granted TPS in the past -- and had it renewed -- after natural disasters in their countries forced many to leave. In 2008, no less, the Bush administration extended TPS for Honduran and Salvadoran nationals because of the ``lingering effects'' of Hurricane Mitch a decade ago.

How can it be that President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would ignore Haitians' plight when all evidence indicates that granting TPS would not open the floodgates to more migration to South Florida?

By allowing Haitians to remain here temporarily -- and work legally -- most will be able to contribute to rebuilding a country in tatters.