Saperstein: At this time of profound tragedy, we join the call to allow all Haitian immigrants currently residing in the United States to remain here in the immediate aftermath of this devastating crisis.
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Washington DC, January 15, 2010 - In response to the current humanitarian crisis in Haiti, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
The earthquakes that struck Haiti this week are a devastating humanitarian tragedy. We mourn the loss of life, the separation of families, the destruction of homes and livelihoods and the continued dislocation of the earthquakes' victims. We continue to pray for those who lost so much as they experience pain and suffering beyond what many of us could ever imagine.
At this time of profound tragedy, we join the call to allow all Haitian immigrants currently residing in the United States to remain here in the immediate aftermath of this devastating crisis. Together with so many in the Jewish community, the US Congress, and supported by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we call for the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This change in status will allow Haitians within our borders to obtain work and assist their families back home as they rebuild their lives and their country.
As the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti faces overwhelming obstacles in its response to this crisis. Even with the extraordinary outpouring of international support, including donations made through our own URJ Relief Fund, the recovery process will be arduous.
In this time of intense need within the Haitian community, we urge the Administration to swiftly grant TPS for Haitian immigrants, and help provide an additional measure of solace and support to this community in need."