BOSTON, NOV. 17 - State Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. attended two rallies this week in support of maintaining Temporary Protected Status for Haitians who legally work and live in the U.S. The TPS program permits immigrants from countries affected by natural disasters or conflict to remain in the U.S. for a limited time. However, unless an extension is granted, these individuals will be compelled to return in January to Haiti. The country remains in a difficult state due to the continuing effects of an earthquake in 2010, and a hurricane last year.
Last Sunday, Haitian-Americans United, Inc. held a rally at the St. Angela Merici Church in Mattapan to urge Governor Baker to demand that President Trump extend TPS for Haitians for a further 18 month period.
State Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. attended to offer his support for the demands of H.A.U. “As someone that represents Randolph, a community that’s strengthened by immigrants, it breaks my heart to see people in fear,” Driscoll stated. “I’ll do everything I can to take the message to our congressional delegation, who are doing a great job to work to continue the TPS program. I will also add my voice in support for permanent protected status.”
On Wednesday, a second rally was held on the steps of the Massachusetts State House, this time organized by the Latin American immigrant group Centro Presente, to urge the state legislature to pass a resolution in support of extending TPS. Driscoll attended, and stood with his legislative colleagues as a number of individuals affected by the current situation told their story.
Driscoll noted after the rally that he felt it was important to his constituents to continue to advocate for this cause. “I’ve said before on a number of occasions that Milton and Randolph are diverse communities, and that this state was the landing place for some of the first immigrants to America. We have to maintain that tradition, and continue to treat people who have come here to escape hardship in their own country with compassion and understanding.”