Haiti’s Big Chance

In an op-ed published by the New York Times, United Nations Secretary–General Ban Ki-moon describes his recent visit to the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, and why he believes the island-nation is poised at the brink of opportunity.

Read the article here.

Videos offer a look inside Haiti

Two videos from the New York Times

In the midst of the global economic turmoil, the U.N. seeks to remind the world’s wealthy nations, however embattled their finances, not to forget impoverished nations like Haiti.

Click here to watch the video described above.

Sasha Kramer and Sarah Brownell run a hand-to-mouth aid group, called SOIL, that helps turn waste into much-needed fertilizer.

Click here to watch the second video.

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Post says Haitians deserve protected status

An editorial in Monday’s Washington Post calls for temporary protected status for Haitians, noting that “Haitian immigrants more than qualify” for the protection. The editorials states: “The State Department cautions visitors that there are no ‘safe areas’ in Haiti, and that ‘kidnapping, death threats, murders, drug-related shootouts, armed robberies, break-ins and carjackings are common.’ Yet, it is U.S. policy to deport the estimated 30,000 Haitians in this country back to this hotbed of violence and squalor.”

Read the editorial here.

Haitians need Temporary Protected Status

Children wait in a line on Christmas Day 2008 to receive medical treatment from the members of the Brazilian contingent of the U.N. (U.N. Photo/Marco Dormino)

Children wait in a line on Christmas Day 2008 to receive medical treatment from the members of the Brazilian contingent of the U.N. (U.N. Photo/Marco Dormino)

Jesuit Refugee Service provides humanitarian assistance to Haitian refugees and migrants dwelling along the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic. Our field office in Ouanaminthe, Haiti has seen the effects of both the food crisis and the storms in the last year . Haitian society is fragile and the U.S. plan to deport 30,000 Haitians to the storm ravaged nation represents a grave security and humanitarian concern.

“Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will allow the Haitian government to invest its limited resources into rebuilding damaged infrastructure and offering emergency relief to its suffering citizens,” said Shaina Aber, associate for policy of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, in an e-mail to the White House.
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U.N.: International support vital for Haiti's recovery

Ambassador Jorge Urbina of Costa Rica briefed the Security Council March 19, on the recent Council mission to Haiti. The four-day visit focused on fomenting national dialogue and international support in order to meet coming challenges in security, stability, recovery and development.

“The mission also corroborated the Haitian state’s lack of capacity to control its borders and territorial waters, which could potentially stimulate the development of illegal activities. The start of MINUSTAH’s maritime and air patrols, in support of the national police, should improve the situation; but these actions must be complemented by other regional and bilateral initiatives,” said Ambassador Urbina.

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Cardinal calls for end to immigration raids

Cardinal Francis George, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Saturday called on the White House to end immigration raids that split up families.

“May this be the year that raids and separation of families stop,” George said. “May this be the year that our legislators pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

The Chicago Tribune reports from the event:
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Canisius College students ‘Spring Break’ for immigration reform

Several students from Canisius College visited Washington, D.C. as an “Alternative Spring Break.” The eight students, accompanied by a campus minister, spent March 13 to March 15 at the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Spring Teach-In on Immigration at Georgetown Prep, and then lobbied for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Capitol on March 16.

Students from Jesuit high schools and colleges around the country converged to study immigration from a Catholic social justice perspective at the weekend conference. The teach-in was organized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and featured speakers from the world of academia and advocacy.
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