Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 082638
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File Number: 082638 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: EMERGENCY DISASTER AID TO HAITI AND TEMP. PROTEC. STATUS Introduced: 9/15/2008
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 10/7/2008 Agenda Item Number: 11A45
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO APPROVE $300 MILLION IN EMERGENCY DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO HAITI IN LIGHT OF DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY HURRICANE IKE AND OTHER RECENT STORMS; URGING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO GRANT TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS TO HAITIAN NATIONALS SEEKING REFUGE IN THE U.S.
Indexes: EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
  HAITIANS
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 10/7/2008 11A45 Withdrawn
REPORT: (SEE AGENDA ITEM 11A45 SUBSTITUTE; LEGISLATIVE FILE NO. 082889.)

County Attorney 9/15/2008 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 9/15/2008

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO APPROVE $300 MILLION IN EMERGENCY DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO HAITI IN LIGHT OF DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY HURRICANE IKE AND OTHER RECENT STORMS; URGING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO GRANT TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS TO HAITIAN NATIONALS SEEKING REFUGE IN THE U.S.

BODY
WHEREAS, Hurricane Ike is the latest in a series of four deadly storms that have struck Haiti this year in rapid succession, including Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, and Tropical Storm Hanna; and
WHEREAS, these storms have caused hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and the destruction of homes, crops and businesses; and
WHEREAS, these storms have also left an estimated 800,000 people homeless in Haiti and severely damaged Haiti's infrastructure, making it difficult to provide relief supplies to the storm-ravaged country; and
WHEREAS, Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; and
WHEREAS, the Haitian government does not have the capacity to respond to the widespread death and destruction caused by storms of this magnitude; and
WHEREAS, immediate assistance from the United States is critical to meet the emergency needs of the Haitian people and begin to rebuild damaged homes and infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, members of Congress including Representatives Kendrick Meek and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recently asked Congress to approve a $300 million appropriation in emergency disaster assistance to Haiti; and
WHEREAS, the destruction caused by the storms that have hit Haiti, coupled with the ongoing armed conflict there, does not allow Haitian nationals currently in the U.S. to safely return to Haiti; and
WHEREAS, Congress established Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries; and
WHEREAS, Haitian President René Préval has written to President Bush requesting that TPS be extended to Haitians; and
WHEREAS, Haiti's ongoing political and economic struggles and the extraordinary destruction caused by several natural disasters more than qualifies Haitian nationals who are already in the United States for TPS; and
WHEREAS, TPS may be granted when any of the following conditions are met:
1. there is ongoing armed conflict posing a serious threat to personal safety;
2. it is requested by a foreign state that temporarily cannot handle the return of nationals due to environmental disaster; or
3. when extraordinary and temporary conditions in a foreign state exist which prevent aliens from returning.
WHEREAS, there are currently six countries that are protected under the TPS provision: Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Burundi, Somalia, and Sudan; and
WHEREAS, the original designation for Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador was granted in response to similarly destructive natural disasters; and

WHEREAS, though it is only required to meet one, Haiti meets all of the requirements for TPS; and
WHEREAS, the repatriation at this time of Haitian nationals who can help Haiti through remittances may only further hinder Haiti’s recovery efforts; and
WHEREAS, granting TPS to Haitian nationals in the U.S. is a bipartisan effort among Miami-Dade County’s Congressional Delegation, with Representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Kendrick Meek, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz all recently sending letters to President Bush urging his administration to grant TPS to Haitian Nationals living in the U.S.,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the U.S. Congress to approve a $300 million appropriation in emergency disaster assistance to Haiti.
Section 2. Urges the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals living in the U.S.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to Representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Kendrick Meek, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the remaining members of the Florida Congressional Delegation and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Section 4. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2008 and 2009 Federal Legislative Packages.



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