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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.
Visiting the Haitian-American Community in New York
As I write this, I am boarding a plane on my way home from New York City. While there, it was my privilege to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Patterson in announcing the creation of the New York Haitian Earthquake Family Resource Center at the New York National Guard Armory at 1579 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.
The center will open its doors on Monday, February 1 and provide a number of services, including:
- Creole-speaking interpretation services
- Assistance with completing Temporary Protected Status applications
- Access to telephones to contact appropriate federal and Haitian officials
- Public use of computers for consulting a broad range of websites, including New York State's Registry of New York Citizens in Haiti;
- Child guardianship and custody services
- Legal assistance
- Mental health services
As all of us work hard everyday to reduce the pain, suffering, and stress caused by the devastation and destruction of the earthquake in Haiti, I want to urge those who are eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to use the resources available to them in New York and on our website. Also, please be careful not to fall prey to individuals seeking to take advantage of those in need. For example, forms can be downloaded from our website. No one should have to pay anyone else to obtain these forms.
Before heading to the airport, I took the opportunity to discuss the impact of the earthquakes on Haitians and their families in the United States during an interview on Radyo Pa Nou, a Haitian-American radio station headquartered in New York City. I discussed how Haitians can get help with TPS applications and answered questions from the Haitian community. I'm glad I had the opportunity to speak to people affected by this tragedy and I promise that USCIS will continue to do its best to help them.
Update: The USCIS website now offers videos on TPS for Haitians in Creole, French and English.