DHS: Statement by HomRelease Date: January 13, 2010
Release Date: January 13, 2010
For Immediate ReleaseOffice of the Press SecretaryContact: 202-282-8010
"The entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extends its sympathy for the devastation and loss of life in Haiti following last night's earthquake--a disaster that has called the world to action in response. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are leading DHS actions to support the larger assistance effort. Several Coast Guard cutters and aircraft have mobilized and are on the ground to assist the humanitarian effort as needed. FEMA has been in close contact with the State Department and USAID, the lead U.S. federal response agencies, and stands ready to provide assistance as requested. I am being kept closely apprised of the developing situation, and the Department will continue to support the people of Haiti and others affected by this tragedy. I encourage the American people to donate what funds they can afford to disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross to allow these voluntary groups to provide goods and services to disaster survivors as quickly as possible."
The Coast Guard Cutter Forward arrived off Port Au Prince this morning and was the first U.S. asset on the scene. The cutter is equipped with a helicopter flight deck, satellite communications equipment, and the ability to provide coordination to military aircraft in the area. The Coast Guard cutter Mohawk is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. Two Coast Guard C-130 airplanes are flying the coast of Western Haiti this morning doing damage assessments and searching for people in need of assistance. Two Coast Guard helicopters are also forward deployed in the area to provide rescue or other assistance.
RAD~THIS RESPONSE WHILE IMPORTANT IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
The American Immigration Lawyers Association Leadership Blog has this to say about responding to the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Haiti -
"The reality is that failure to move forward with TPS Designation for Haiti now will be considered by many to be racist. Honduras has had TPS for YEARS since the one Hurricane which devastated that country. El Salvador has enjoyed such designation for numerous years as well since the earthquakes in that country. Yet, Haiti, which appears to be at the center of Mother Nature's wrath for the last 18 months, remains forsaken, its nationals abandoned. "
I would point out that the United States never granted TPS to Indonesian Nationals while they have been experiencing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and other natural disasters as well as other issues that deserved consideration.... Indonesia, however, is a much larger country than Haiti with more resources and a greater population to mount efforts to aid its people and rebuild. Haiti does not have the ability to recover from this on its own, so the notion that the USA will provide humanitarian and logistical assistance is a good one. However, we as a country - apparently are going to be content to deport individuals and families back to this nightmare scenario while pledging how concerned we are for their welfare!
Send an Email to President Obama on this issue: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact