Monday, July 12, 2010

Shadows still loom over post-quake Haiti

Monday marks he sixth-month anniversary of one of the grimmest events of 2010: the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti that killed at least 220,000 people. Since January 12th progress has been achingly slow; 1.5 million people are still homeless, basic services like water and health care are hard to come by, and an already economically and politically weak country continues to teeter on the precipice. As the video below shows, some of Haiti’s youngest survivors still face a mammoth effort to strive forward:

Undocumented Haitians in the U.S. have been granted a brief reprieve after immigration authorities announced the extension of the temporary protected status deadline to January 2011. According to the government over 55,000 applications have been submitted for the program that confers a special legal status to undocumented migrants residing in the U.S. before the January tremor.

Though the TPS extension is seen as a positive move by some Haitian expats, one immigration activist feels that more could be done:
La Rhonda Odom, deputy director of Haitian Women of Miami, said she hopes the administration will allow Haitians expedited visas to join their families in the U.S., similar to the 2007 Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program. There are currently 55,000 Haitians whose petitions to immigrate to the U.S. have been accepted but they are languishing on waiting lists dating back as far as 10 years.
Online Sources- Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, MSNBC, YouTube, Monsters and Critics, The Latin Americanist

No comments: