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Haitian Leaders Slam Trump Census Threat To Exclude Non-Citizens From Congressional Count

By Jonathan Greig

President Donald Trump put the 2020 Census into further disarray this week when he released a memorandum on Tuesday declaring that undocumented people will not be counted in how congressional seats are doled out to each state.

The U.S. Constitution is clear that everyone living in the country, regardless of status, needs to be counted for the census and the 14th Amendment mandates that state representatives are apportioned based on the entire population count. But in Tuesday’s memorandum, Trump officials claim the term “inhabitants” is up for debate and can exclude people who are undocumented.

Legal experts and census advocacy groups immediately called the move blatantly unconstitutional and impossible to carry out considering the Supreme Court ruled last year that questions about citizenship will not be included on the census.

Vendors gather in front of an immigration law office in Brooklyn. Photo by Garry Pierre-Pierre

The ACLU has already released a statement threatening to sue the federal government again over the memorandum.

“The Constitution requires that everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census. President Trump can’t pick and choose. He tried to add a citizenship question to the census and lost in the Supreme Court,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and the lawyer who helped win the citizenship question case last year.

“His latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities will be found unconstitutional. We’ll see him in court, and win, again.”

In states like Florida and New York, there are thousands of Haitians living under Temporary Protected Status or as undocumented immigrants, and the census response rates in neighborhoods with large Haitian populations is already lower than the national average.

“It’s so disturbing and demoralizing because our communities lag behind others both locally and nationally in the updated response rates. We are deeply concerned that this news will cast fear,” said Leonie Hermantin, communications director for Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center in Miami.

The group has been at the forefront of efforts to get more Haitians and Haitian-Americans in Florida to fill out the census before the deadline in October. But Hermantin said their work has been hampered by Trump’s failed but widely-publicized attempts to add the citizenship question last year and the coronavirus pandemic, which has made in-person census events difficult to hold.

 

Source

New Coalition Formed To Engage Haitian Voters At Grassroots Level

Vanessa Joseph remembers the day that then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump visited Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. While a small group of people attended Trump’s meeting, the current president claimed he would be the Haitian community’s “biggest champion.”

Years into Trump’s presidency, Haitians in the United States have witnessed the destructive rhetoric and policy proposals, including an attempt to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“So there was a lot of need for us to look at, well, what does it mean for candidates to genuinely remain accountable to this community, to this electorate, this group of electorates, in a true sense, and what does that look like?” said Joseph, an elected city clerk for North Miami.

Joseph and about a dozen other Haitian Americans comprise the board of a political advocacy group formed in June, the Haitian American Voter Empowerment (HAVE) Coalition. The group has tasked itself with informing voters and crafting a set of policy priorities for the Haitian diaspora, which has not yet wielded its political power in a unified way.

The board includes elected officials in South Florida, like Joseph and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, as well as civil society leaders from other states, including New York and Massachusetts. Thus far, HAVE comprises about 50 members, who will engage voters and promote voter registration, two of the organization’s major goals.

Most of the HAVE’s initial efforts will focus on Florida, where the organization has the strongest presence. But HAVE eventually planned to grow and extend its voter engagement efforts to other states.

“Part of that strategy includes media outreach because we know a lot of our people get their information from the radio. We also want to cover digital outreach, so being present on social media,” Joseph also said.

On Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m., HAVE will host its first fundraiser, a Livestream event on the organization’s Facebook page, featuring the comedian Success Jr as the emcee. Ms. Joseph, Commissioner Monestime, and Florida state representative Dotie Joseph are currently slated as speakers for the event.

The Haitian population in South Florida has been growing for decades, with more than 80,000 Haitians residing in Miami-Dade County alone. While Haitians have been elected to local government and the state legislature, the community has not yet been able to use its political power to make a lasting impact on national issues like immigration reform.

“In actuality, we’re talking about a couple of elected officials here and there who really haven’t been able to make a big difference with Haitian issues just yet,” said Sean Foreman, chair of the history and political science department at Barry University, in Miami Shores.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic that has caused widespread unemployment, the needs of the Haitian community intersect with those of other residents. Local elections in Florida, in addition to national races, can have a significant bearing on people’s livelihoods.

New coalition formed to engage Haitian voters at grassroots level

When and how to vote in all 50 states

Millions of Americans who normally vote in person on election day will turn to early voting or mail-in ballots this fall — but that only works if you understand your state’s election rules, deadlines, and how to ensure your vote is counted.

Driving the news: Axios is launching an interactive resource, built on research by RepresentUs, a nonpartisan election reform group, to help voters across the country to get the information they need.

  • “This election year, voters need to take more time and effort to navigate the challenges of a pandemic,” U.S. Elections Assistance Commissioner Donald Palmer tells Axios.
  • It will be critical for voters to have updated information on their options “to make sure that this election is a true reflection of the will of the people,” said Matt Strabone, senior counsel for RepresentUs.

 

Read the Full Article:

https://www.axios.com/how-to-vote-by-state-2020-307c3d17-ee57-4a1b-8bad-182ca1cdb752.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=1100

HAITIAN AMERICANS ORGANIZE TO ENSURE THEIR VOTES COUNT IN 2020 ELECTIONS

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HAITIAN AMERICANS ORGANIZE TO ENSURE THEIR VOTES COUNT IN 2020 ELECTIONS

MIAMI–AUGUST 10, 2020– The Haitian-American Community welcomes the creation of Haitian American Voters Empowerment (HAVE) COALITION. HAVE Coalition includes individuals and organizations determined to prioritize their common interests to ensure that Haitian American voters are informed, engaged, and empowered ahead of the 2020 general elections.

The results of the past few elections have been decided by relatively small margins. Given their high concentration in Florida, an important swing state, Haitian Americans can have an influential role in the coming elections. The coalition was built to strategically focus the votes of Haitian Americans and ensure the advancement of our agenda.

HAVE represents a unique opportunity to fulfill the promise of “l’union fait la force.” HAVE is prepared to rise up to the challenge because, “le nou vle, nou kapab” (“when we want to, we can”).

ABOUT HAITIAN-AMERICAN VOTERS EMPOWERMENT (HAVE) COALITION

HAVE COALITION is a non-party affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, which engages Haitian American voters regardless of political affiliation. Our foundation is based on the credo that in politics “there are no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, but only permanent interests.”

PRESS CONTACT:
DR MONALISA FERRARI
COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR
6462436857
vote@havecoalition.org

LES AMÉRICAINS HAÏTIENS S’ORGANISENT POUR S’ASSURER QUE LEURS VOTES COMPTENT AUX ÉLECTIONS DE 2020

COMMUNIQUE POUR UNE LIBÉRATION IMMÉDIATE

LES AMÉRICAINS HAÏTIENS S’ORGANISENT POUR S’ASSURER QUE LEURS VOTES COMPTENT AUX ÉLECTIONS DE 2020

MIAMI–AOÛT 11, 2020– 

 

La communauté américano-haïtienne se félicite de la création de l’Haitian American Voters Empowerment (HAVE) COALITION. La Coalition HAVE comprend des individus et des organisations déterminés à prioriser leurs intérêts communs pour s’assurer que les électeurs haïtiens américains sont informés, engagés et habilités avant les élections générales de 2020.

 

La concentration à forte densité d’Américains d’origine haïtienne vivant en Floride, où les élections nationales et d’État sont déterminées à plusieurs reprises par des marges très minces, tirera parti d’une grande partie des votes de la diaspora haïtienne aux prochaines élections et au-delà. Le mouvement a été construit pour concentrer stratégiquement les ressources sur les États perpétuellement violets, tels que la Floride et la Pennsylvanie, pour s’assurer que l’électorat haïtien américain vote dans la perspective d’assurer l’avancement d’un programme américano-haïtien.

 

HAVE COALITION a réussi à combler le fossé entre la génération plus âgée née et élevée en Haïti et les millénaires nés aux États-Unis. L’exécutif et le conseil consultatif offrent une représentation équilibrée des deux générations réparties à travers les États-Unis. Cet équilibre garantira que les intérêts de leur patrie ancestrale seront également défendus au Congrès américain ou à la Maison-Blanche par des politiques plus amicales.

 

HAVE représente une occasion unique de tenir la promesse de « l’union fait la force ». HAVE est prêt à relever le défi parce que, “lè nou vle, nou kapab » (« quand nous le voulons, nous le pouvons »).

 

ABOUT HAITIAN-AMERICAN VOTERS EMPOWERMENT (HAVE) COALITION

HAVE COALITION is a non-party affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, which engages Haitian Americans from all parties in the United States and Haiti. Notre fondation est basée sur le credo qu’en politique “il n’y a pas d’ennemis permanents, pas d’amis permanents, mais seulement des intérêts permanents. »

 

CONTACT PRESSE:

DR MONALISA FERRARI

CHARGEE DE COMMUNICATION HAVE COALITION

646 243 6857

vote@havecoalition.org