State Senator Daphne Campbell Appointed As Chair Of The Haitian Temporary Relief Task Force

Author:  LaTOYA SHEALS
TALLAHASSEE, FL -State Senator Daphne Campbell (D-Miami) has been appointed Chair of the Haitian Temporary Relief Task Force, an organization formed to advocate on behalf of tens of thousands of Haitian refugees in Florida who fled their native country but now face deportation in the near future.

The appointment of Senator Campbell was made earlier this week by Representative Kionne McGhee, who heads the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation.

Her selection comes on the heels of the decision rendered by the Trump Administration last month regarding Haiti's Temporary Protected Status.   Concerned with the expiring sanctuary date and uncertainty with the Trump Administration, Senator Campbell has been advocating on behalf of the Haiti Temporary Protected Status by filing Senate Memorial 442 Haiti Temporary Protected Status and SM 888 ESPERER Act of 2017. She has also attempted to raise public awareness and garner additional support for the refugees' plight by holding press conferences, and traveling to Washington, DC to speak with elected officials such as Senator Bill Nelson, Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Congressman Alcee Hastings and a host of other prominent officials.  

In addition, she also held meetings with Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director to the White House, Billy Kirkland, and Special Advisor for Western Hemisphere & Global Economics- Office of the Vice President, Landon Loomis as well as Omarosa Manigualt, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications Office of Public Liaison.  On November 17, 2017, the Friday before the decision was rendered, the Senator spoke with Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw and Deputy Secretary Ken Merton both with the Department of State. The morning of the decision, November 20, 2017, Senator Campbell held a telephone conversation with Acting Assistant Secretary John Barsa, Department of Homeland Security. 

Senator Campbell advocated that Haiti TPS be extended for an additional 18 months as it was scheduled to expire on January 22, 2018 causing some 60,000 Haitians to be forcibly returned back to Haiti.  Despite multiple campaign promises that he would be their "biggest champion," President Trump's administration agreed to allow them to remain in the USA only until July 22, 2019. 

Senator Campbell said she is eager to begin work as the Chair of the Haitian Task Force, and continue her legislative advocacy until Haitians and other refugees receive permanent residence.

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