South Florida Community Disappointed by Barack Obama "Empty Words"
- Sunday, August 14, 2011 8:12 PM
MIAMI, USA (defend.ht) - Hundreds of South Floridians protested on Thursday for equity in the United States saying promises made by President Barack Obama had been but "empty words".
Following the earthquake, one of the worst catastrophes in the history of Haiti, "our own president [Barack Obama], whom we love so much said that Haiti relief, Haiti support would be my priority."
"My friends, I am greatly disappointed to tell you today that these words were only empty words," Marlein Bastien spoke to the crowd demonstrating outside of the offices of Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Members including the President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199, George Gresham joined with the A. Philip Randolph Institute and its President, the TransAfrica Chief of Staff and Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyama. FANM Director, Marlein Bastien called for immigration reform that allows them to have benefits similar to those dispensed to Cubans, who have a family reunification program.
Haitians are repatriated in the United States while Cubans are allowed to remain in the country under government policy. U.S. law allows for Cubans who manage to reach land to remain in the country and after a year obtain residency.
In January, several human rights organizations presented a request that the U.S. government suspend deportations of Haitians. The United States established Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Haitians in the U.S. before the earthquake.