Activists for Haiti press Obama on immigration plans

The Miami Herald reports on the growing unease among Haitian activists over their perception President Obama is not moving fast enough on either immigration reform or Temporary Protected Status for Haitian immigrants.

“I feel they are stringing us along, and we are in an awkward position,” said Randolph McGrorty, head of Catholic Charities Legal Services, who brought the subject to a head with a stinging e-mail sent to House, Senate and administration staffers last week. “Do we allow them to string us along because they are our allies or do we start calling them on the carpet for it?”

Presidential candidate Obama did not promise to grant undocumented Haitian immigrants temporary legal status in the United States — a designation known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS — but activists said they believed the first African-American president would give the issue special consideration.

Instead, former President Bill Clinton — a United Nations special envoy to the country — and the United Nations have taken the lead in rebuilding a storm-battered Haiti after last year’s four back-to-back storms that killed hundreds and left nearly $1 billion in damages.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has long supported TPS for Haitians.

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