August 16, 2021
Contact: Pablo Stein
LCLAA Stands in Solidarity with the Haitian Community and Reiterates the Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
LCLAA expresses its heartfelt solidarity with Haitian workers, both at home and in the diaspora, in the wake of Saturday’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which has already left over 1,300 dead. While LCLAA applauds the Biden administration’s swift humanitarian deployment of USAID and the Coast Guard, we remind policymakers that a successful response must also protect the thousands of Haitian diaspora members here in the US who face an uncertain future and cannot safely return to their country of origin.
This tragedy is unfortunately one of many that have recently befallen the island nation, including the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread gang violence, and the assasination of President Jovinel Moïse, which further destabilized the Haitian political system. Just days before the earthquake, Haitian labor leaders reported on the atmosphere of fear that permeates the country to the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), with one lamenting, “it’s like we are in the times of dictatorship, always trying to avoid assassination.”
As Latino trade unionists, we cannot standby and watch members of our society be deported to an environment where one might be targeted for exerting the basic right to organize in the workplace and demand dignified working conditions.
While Congress and the Department of Homeland Security recently extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals, this is an inherently provisional measure that cannot provide the baseline security and peace of mind that Hatian-American workers deserve. Since Haiti’s precarious condition is longstanding and shows little sign of changing in the near future, LCLAA calls on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that includes an opportunity for displaced Hatians to obtain permanent residency with a path to citizenship.
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at www.lclaa.org, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram