February 9, 2009 President Barack Obama The White House - PDF

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					February 9, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461
comments@whitehouse.gov

RE:    The Administration Should Urgently Stay Deportations to Haiti

Dear President Obama,

First, congratulations on your new job. Immigrant communities look forward to working with
your administration. Certainly you have many pressing priorities. We are compelled, however, to
bring to your attention a life or death matter: Haitian deportees face hunger, homelessness and
unemployment, if not worse, in the wake of four killer storms that further devastated our
hemisphere’s poorest nation. We urge you to immediately stay deportations to Haiti pending
review of U.S. immigration policy toward Haitians.

To continue these deportations is inhumane and, we believe, contrary to your administration’s
values of fairness, transparency and respect for human rights. Please consider:

•   The former administration stayed deportations to Haiti in September only to resume them
    abruptly in December without notice or reasonable explanation. This was a last-minute
    Department of Homeland Security policy reversal. It should not stand.

•   Conditions in Haiti remain abysmal. The storms destroyed 15 percent of its GDP – that’s like
    8 to 10 Hurricane Katrinas hitting the U.S. in one month. Yesterday the State Department
    renewed warnings not to travel to Haiti due to the “destructive impact” of the storms.

•   Staying the deportations is in the U.S. interest. Sending more people in need of food and
    shelter will further burden the Haitian government, which already is overwhelmed by the
    magnitude of the natural disaster. Deportees only delay recovery efforts. Meanwhile,
    Haitians who remain here would continue to send remittances, encouraging relatives to stay
    in Haiti and help rebuild their country.

•   These deportations tear apart families, hurting U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
    Vialine Jean Paul, 34, married a U.S. citizen. Their 7-year-old, U.S-born daughter is being
    treated for a chronic viral infection. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Ms. Jean
    Paul to buy plane tickets for her deportation to Haiti before February 10. Her dilemma:
    Should she put her daughter at risk of malaria, hepatitis, cholera, malnutrition and uncertain
    medical care in Haiti or leave her seriously ill daughter behind?

Across America, many of us wish our government to stand with the Haitian people. Haiti still
needs U.S. assistance. Please help by immediately staying deportations to Haiti and undoing the
last administration’s late-term policy reversal. It is the fair and decent course of action.
      Sincerely,

Marleine Bastien             Cheryl Little                       Maria Rodriguez
Executive Director           Executive Director                  Executive Director
Fanm Ayisyen Nan             Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center   Florida Immigrant Coalition
Miyami/Haitian
Women of Miami

Randolph P. McGrorty         Winnie Cantave                      Jean-Robert Lafortune
Chief Executive Officer      Co-Executive Director               Chairman
Catholic Charities Legal     UNITE for Dignity                   Haitian-American Grassroots
Services                                                         Coalition

Martha Zayas                 Tirso Moreno                        Irma Cabriales
Voices for Justice           General Coordinator                 Director
Palm Bay, FL                 The Farmworker Association of       Latin American Coalition of the
                             Florida                             Treasure Coast

Paola Villareal              Fr. Reginald Jean-Mary              Preval Floreal
Executive Director           Notre Dame d'Haiti Mission          Grace Haitian United Methodist
Sueño Americano                                                  Church

                                                                 Lucio Perez-Reynoso
Reginale Durandisse          Bob Louis Jeune                     Miami Area Program Director
Founder & CEO                Executive Director                  American Friends Service
For The Children, Inc.       Haitian Citizens United Taskforce   Committee
                             Inc.

Ophelia Dahl                 Elizabeth Badger                    J. Willie David, III
Executive Director           Refugee Project Director            President
Partners In Health           World Organization for Human        Florida Civil Rights Association
                             Rights

Eric Brakken                 Joan Friedland                      Aileen Josephs, Esq.
District Director            Immigration Policy Director         Honorary Consul of Guatemala,
SEIU 32BJ Florida            National Immigration Law Center     West Palm Beach

Sophie Brion                 Susan H. Colussy, Attorney at Law   Kathryn M. Doan
Women's Advocacy Project     Program Director, Immigration       Executive Director
Director                     Services                            Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights
Women's Fund of Miami-Dade   Catholic Charities of the           Coalition (CAIR)
                             Archdiocese of Atlanta

Linda Osberg-Braun           Teresa Gutierrez                    Tim Jeffries
President, American          Coordinator                         Coordinator
Immigration Lawyers          May 1st Coalition for Worker and    Bend-Condega Friendship Project
Association, South Florida   Immigrant Rights, New York          Bend, OR
Charles King                Rosemary Barbera, Ph.D.              Lee Siu Hin
President & CEO             Sin Fronteras Chile Project          National Coordinator
Housing Works, Inc.                                              National Immigrant Solidarity
                                                                 Network

Jean-Pierre Kamwa           Janet Hinshaw-Thomas                 Jordan E. Dollar, Esq.
Executive Director          Director                             Director of Detention Programs
Espoir, Inc.                PRIME-ECR                            Catholic Legal Services
                            (Ecumenical Commitment to            Miami, FL
                            Refugees)

Brian Concannon             Holly S. Cooper                      Rosa E. Kasse
Executive Director          Assistant Director                   President
Institute for Justice and   Immigration Law Clinic               Hispanic Coalition
Democracy in Haiti          School of Law Clinical Programs      Miami, Florida
                            University of California, Davis

Kevin Sharpley              Clemencia Ortiz, MA                  Jose Lagos
President & CEO             Executive Director                   President
KijiK Multimedia Inc.       Latin American Immigrant &           Honduran Unity-Unidad Hondurena
                            Refugee Organization, Inc. (LAIRO)   Miami, Florida

Andres Cruz                 Jonathan Fried                       J. Amada Vargas
AJAW KABAWIL                Executive Director                   Executive Director
Organizacion Gautemalteca   WeCount!                             Latinos United in Action Center,
Americana                   Homestead, Florida                   Inc. (LUAC)
Indiantown, Florida

Sally Bevill                Nativo V. Lopez                      Stephanie Grosser
Executive Director          National Director                    Assistant Director, Washington D.C.
El Pueblo                   Hermandad Mexicana                   Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Biloxi, MS                  Latinoamericana and Mexican          (HIAS)
                            American Political Association
                            (MAPA)

Patricia Austin             Rev. Kenneth Gavin, S.J.             Jennifer Piper
Founder                     National Director                    Interfaith Organizing Director for
Positive Action for Human   Jesuit Refugee Service/USA           Immigrant Rights
Rights (PAHR)                                                    Coloradans for Immigrant Rights
                                                                 American Friends Service
                                                                 Committee
Margarita Romo                  Diana Bohn                              Vincent Warren
Executive Director              Co-coordinator                          Executive Director
Farmworkers Self-Help           Nicaragua Center for Community          Center for Constitutional Rights
                                Action (NICCA) and                      (CCR)
                                Haiti Action Committee
                                Berkeley, CA

Nora Sandigo                    Peter A. Schey                          Deborah A. Drennan
Executive Director              President & Executive Director          Interim Administrator
American Fraternity-            Center for Human Rights and             Freedom House
Fraternidad Americana           Constitutional Law                      Detroit, MI


Wade Henderson                  Oscar Chacon                            Catherine T. Tansey
President & CEO                 Executive Director                      Executive Director
Leadership Conference on        National Alliance of Latin American     International Institute of New Jersey
Civil Rights                    and Caribbean Communities
                                (NALACC)

Victor F. Capellán              Sarang Sekhavat                         Francisco Ramos
President                       Federal Policy Director                 Executive Director
Dominican American National     Massachusetts Immigrant and             Coalition of African, Arab, Asian,
Roundtable                      Refugee Advocacy Coalition              European, and Latino Immigrants of
                                                                        Illinois (CAAAELII)

Vanna Slaughter LCSW            Richard Logue                           Tuyet G. Duong
Division Director               Program Director                        Senior Staff Attorney
Immigration and Legal           Immigration & Refugee Services,         Asian American Justice Center
Services                        Catholic Charities of Central Florida
Catholic Charities of Dallas,
Inc.

Sister Janet Yurkanin           Beth Stickney, Esq.                     Stephen A. Traylor
Migration and Refugee           Executive Director                      Attorney at Law, Managing Partner
Services                        Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project        Traylor and Traylor, P.C.
Diocese of Trenton, NJ          Portland, ME                            Princeton, NJ

Shay M. Farley                  Magalis Troncoso Lama                   Manny Hidalgo
Chair                           Director                                Executive Director, LEDC
Alabama Coalition for           Dominican Development Center            Latino Economic Development
Immigrant Justice               Roslindale, MA                          Corporation
Kenneth L. George               Ana Pérez                           Amanda Martin
National Coordinator,           President                           Director
Direct Human Services           Salvadorean-American National       Guatemala Human Rights
National Ministries, American   Network, SANN                       Commission/USA
Baptist Churches USA

Jon Liss                        Bill Mefford                        Joshua W. Hoyt
Executive Director              Director, Civil and Human Rights    Executive Director
Tenants and Workers United      United Methodist Church             Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
of Virginia                     General Board of Church and         Refugee Rights
                                Society

Marissa Graciosa                Deepak Bhargava                     Stephanie Porta
Director                        Director                            Florida ACORN Head Organizer
Fair Immigration Reform         Center for Community Change         Association of Community
Movement                        Washington, D.C.                    Organizations for Reform Now
Washington, D.C.

Rev. John Cox, OMI              Kareem Shora, J.D., LLM             Alie Kabba
Pastor, Holy Redeemer           Executive Director                  Executive Director
Catholic Church                 American-Arab Anti-                 United African Organization
Miami, FL                       Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Professor Vanessa Merton        Nyasha Karimakwenda                 Sital Kalantry, Co-Director and
Immigration Justice Clinic      Human Rights Fellow                 Assistant Clinical Professor
Pace University School of Law   Boston College Immigration and      Immigration Appellate Law and
                                Asylum Project                      Advocacy Clinic
                                                                    Cornell Law School

Steve Yale Loehr, Co-Director   Claudia Lucero                      Betsy V. Palmieri
and Adjunct Professor           President                           Executive Director
Immigration Appellate Law       Durango Unido en Chicago            Hudson Valley Community
and Advocacy Clinic                                                 Coalition
Cornell Law School

Rita Dentino                    Grant Mitchell                      Patricia Diaz
Coordinator                     Director                            Executive Director
CASA FREEHOLD                   International Detention Coalition   Services, Immigrant Rights and
Freehold, NJ                                                        Education Network (SIREN)
                                                                    San Jose, CA

Sandy Jones                     Farmworker Justice                  Rachel B. Tiven
Board Chair                     Washington, D.C.                    Executive Director
Coalition for New South                                             Immigration Equality
Carolinians                                                         Washington, D.C.
Mary Ochs                      Jesús Rivera                         Jeanne Lindberg
Advisor                        Executive Director                   Resettlement Director
D-USA                          Latino Providers Network             Catholic Charities Immigration &
Downey, CA                     Baltimore, MD                        Refugee Services
                                                                    Rockford, IL

Janis Rosheuvel                Nancy Ratzan                         Ali Noorani
Executive Director             President                            Executive Director
Families for Freedom           National Council of Jewish Women     National Immigration Forum
New York, NY                   (NCJW)

Hilary O. Shelton              Sister Rose Marie Tresp              Magda Dorleans
Vice President for Advocacy/   Director of Justice                  Director
Director, NAACP                Sisters of Mercy of the Americas,    Haitian Center for the Diocese of
Washington Bureau              South Central Community              Trenton, NJ

Rev. Michael J. Burke, Esq.    Jean-Marie Holloway                  Tarlow L. Miller
Director of Legal Services     Immigration Outreach Service         President
Catholic Family & Community    Center                               Liberian Community Association of
Services                       Baltimore, MD                        Central New Jersey & Metro Areas
Paterson, NJ

Hillary Greene                 Raúl Añorve                          Don Chery
Director                       Executive Director                   Latin America Taskforce Network
Berkshire Immigrant Center     Instituto de Educacion Popular del   River Road Unitarian Universalist
Pittsfield, MA                 Sur de California (IDEPSCA)          Congregation
                                                                    Bethesda, Maryland

Allan J. Daul                  Anne Erickson                        Jesus Reyes
Executive Director             President & CEO                      Campus Liason
Catholic Charities of the      Empire Justice Center                Miami Dade College
Archdiocese of Newark                                               Kendall Campus

Abdul Kamus                    Jose J. Estrada                      Fernando Muñóz
Founder and Board Member       Vice President                       Centro Guatemalteco Tecún Umán
African Resource Center        Federacion de Clubes Zacatecanos     New York, NY
Washington, D.C.               en Illinois y el Medio Oeste

Guillerma Escobar              Bartolo Vail                         Sergio Massa
President                      Coordinator                          Chairman/President
Mujeres Unidas por Nuestros    Grupo Cajola                         Peruvian American Coalition, Inc.
Derechos/Women United for      Morristown, NJ
our Rights (MUND)
Morristown, NJ
Vicenta Montoya                  Christine Neumann-Ortiz            John P. Cunningham
Chair                            Executive Director                 Executive Director
Sí Se Puede Latino Democratic    Voces de la Frontera               Gulfcoast Legal Services
Caucus                           Milwaukee, WI
Las Vegas, Nevada

Rev. William Reilly              Becky Sharpless                    M. Shane O'Meara, Esquire
Most Holy Name R.C. Church       Clinical Programs                  Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach
Garfield, NJ                     Florida International University   County, Inc.
Director, Multicultural and      College of Law                     West Palm Beach, FL
Ethnic Affairs
Archdiocese of Newark, NJ

Sr. Maureen Kelleher             Rev. Dr. Harold Vieux
Managing Attorney                Chair
Legal Aid Service of Collier     Miami-Dade County Community
County                           Relations Board

      * List of Signatories In Formation