ImmigrantRights

Marie Ferdinand Harris of WNBA fame to visit Miami area students (First and Only Female Haitian Basketball Superstar)

In WNBA on November 14, 2009 at 3:57 am

In collaboration with FANM AYISYEN NAN MIYAMI, Inc., Marie Ferdinand Harris of WNBA fame will be visiting several schools in Miami this mid -November. The shining star will be motivating the students of Toussaint Louverture Elementary(120 NE 59th St, Miami, FL, 33158) Nov 16th at 9:00 AM.On the 18th the basketball star will also visit Edison Sr. High, her Alma Mater (6161 NW 5th Court , Miami, Fl. 33127) at 9:00 AM and in the afternoon 3:00 PM will visit the kids of the afterschool program at FANM AYISYEN NAN MIYAMI (181 N.E 82nd St, Miami, Fl. 33138)and receiving a proclamation from North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre on the occasion . Her message is one of High Achievement , Success and Hope for the future for all inner city students.

Marie Ferdinand-Harris was signed by the Los Angeles Sparks as a free agent in early2008. Marie is a versatile shooting guard who can slash to the basket and break down any opponent. Ferdinand-Harris averaged 8.2 points and 1.5 assists during the 2008 season, with a season-best 19 points against the Connecticut Sun.

Before joining the Sparks, Ferdinand-Harris was a 3-time WNBA All-Star with the San Antonio Silver Stars (formerly the Utah Starzz) and still holds the Silver Stars record for career steals with 246.

Selected as the 8th pick of the 2001 WNBA Draft, Ferdinand-Harris was a superstar at Louisiana State. She was a 2001 Kodak All-American, an Associated Press Second Team All American and a First Team All-SEC selection.

She’s on of only three LSU players to record at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds,300 assists and 200 steals in her career. In 2007, her college success was awarded as she was honored as one of the Southeastern Conference “Greats,” and inducted into the LSU Sports Hall of Fame.

For more information please contact FANM at 305-756-8050 x 107.

Haitians Impatient with Obama Over TPS

In Haiti TPS, Haitians, Obama, RALLY/PROTEST on October 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm

by Francesca Guerrier & Kim Ives

Some 50 Haitians and their supporters held a spirited demonstration in front of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on Monday, Oct. 26 to demand that President Obama immediately grant Temporary Protected Status or TPS to some 35,000 undocumented Haitians currently in the US.

Obama was at the hotel for a fundraiser for Democratic Florida congressmen Alcee Hastings and Kendrick Meek, who is running for senator.

The demonstration was organized by the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition, Institute of Justice and Democracy (IJDH), Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) and Free Haiti Now, all groups which had been expecting Obama to reverse the Bush administration’s denial of TPS to Haitians last December.

“We are all frustrated that more than nine months after President Obama’s inauguration Haitians still don’t have TPS despite the incredibly broad editorial and political support for it, including from the three South Florida Republicans in the US House of Representatives,” said Steve Forester, an immigration lawyer and long-time TPS advocate who presently represents the IJDH in Florida. “And we are doubly surprised that we have not yet gotten a response to our request to at least give people the dignity of the right to work while the administration continues, month after month, to review the propriety of granting TPS, which to us and every objective observer is a no-brainer, based on the four hurricanes and storms that hit Haiti in a one-month period a year ago.”

TPS, which briefly can be granted by executive order to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who are temporarily unable to return to their nation because of a natural disaster, armed conflict, or other extraordinary circumstances. Since it was established in 1990, TPS has been granted to immigrants from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Burundi, Somalia, Montserrat, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Liberia.

Since January, many demonstrations demanding TPS for Haitians have been held in Florida and other states. Over 300 people from Florida and the Northeast traveled by bus to Washington, DC to demonstrate in front of the White House on Jun. 3, and many more turned out for a second demonstration there on Sep. 16.

On Sep. 18, Free Haiti Now, FLIC and Haitian Women in Miami (FANM) held a vigil at Virginia Key Beach on Key Biscayne to call for TPS and to pay respect to the many Haitian refugees who have died at sea. Performing at the protest were Miami artists DJ Khaled, Mecca aka Grimo, and Grindmode. Other celebrities also supported the action and the TPS call including M1 from Dead Prez, Black Dada, Ace Hood, NBA superstar Hudonis Haslem, and three artists from the group Poe Boy: Billy Blue, Brisco and Flo Rida.

“We need the administration to grant TPS or at least, while they are considering it, to grant work permits on a case by case basis to TPS-deserving non-criminal Haitians who desperately need work permits, drivers licenses and the ability to feed their families, pay electricity bills, and send remittances to Haiti which can support up to ten times that number, thereby increasing Haiti’s security and our own,” Forester said.

On Oct. 26, the demonstrators were restricted to a sidewalk across Collins Avenue from the Fontainebleau. The area was heavily guarded by U.S. Secret Service, Miami Beach police and private security guards. The police harassed demonstrators who sought to take pictures of the protest from the street.

Further down the sidewalk, a group of about 100 anti-immigrant “teabaggers” protested Obama’s presence in Miami with absurd signs like “Go back to Kenya” and “Go back to Indonesia” and “Obama = Comunism.” (sic)

Among those who came out to the TPS demonstration were a few Central American farmworkers from Homestead, about 25 Haitians from West Palm Beach, and FLIC staff members.

In March, former Haitian-American unionist Patrick Gaspard, now Obama’s Director for Political Affairs, traveled to Miami to soothe and reassure Haitian leaders that the administration would soon act on TPS. The reprieve he brokered has now expired.

“As far as we are concerned, regarding Haiti, the Obama administration is maintaining the same status quo as the Bush immigration policy,” Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition president Jean-Robert Lafortune told the Miami Herald.

POE BOYS FLO RIDA AND BRISCO FOR TPS FOR HAITIANS

In ENTERTAINMENT, Haiti TPS, Haitians, RALLY/PROTEST on September 11, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Miami FL, FREE HAITI NOW met with Poe Boy’s Flo rida and Brisco Friday Sept 4th at the Hit Factory building to personally thank them on their support for the Tet Ansanm Vigil that will take place on September 18th at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park as a national call to ask President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status to qualifying undocumented Haitians.
Flo rida spoke about his belief in Equal Rights he said:” I grew up with Haitians around me, they are very hard working people, they believe in education and a lot of them come here to have an opportunity, the opportunity that most Americans take for granted, I believe in equal rights, everybody has the right to eat, to support our families and I definitely believe that the Haitians deserve their rights. The Haitian youth I want to thank for their support , as I said lots of my friends are Haitians, keep on fighting hard until you get your rights, because Yall just as important as Americans.
His label mate Brisco said he would ask President Obama: “ Aren’t Haitians Humans? Aren’t they people? I’m not Haitian, but I speak up for the Haitian youth and I believe they deserve a even bigger voice, people in Haiti have been suffering, the least this administration can do is to grant them TPS considering that the Cubans have their right to stay here, and everybody else too, I just think it’s not fair towards Haitians. I want to tell the Haitian people to stay positive and empowered and powers come in numbers, so as long as yall stick together yall should be fine, Mr Obama you are doing so much for us, all we are asking is for one thing: TPS to HAITIANS NOW!
The Organizing Agencies FANM, FLIC, and FREE HAITI NOW are very thankful to have the support by the Hip Hop Community provided by On Point Entertainment and Marketing.
Nobody should live in fear especially in a free country as the United States, living in fear of raids and not being able to take your sick child to the hospital because of your “illegal” status therefore can’t have a license is simply legally, morally and spiritually wrong.

Event Details and For More Information:
Event: Tet Ansanm TPS Solidarity Vigil
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009
Time: 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: Virginia Key Beach Park – 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL
Hosting Agencies: FANM, FLIC, FHN, OPEM
Type: Vigil/Rally
Phone: 3057787073
Email: Francesca@floridaimmigrant.org, dmagloire@fanm.org, Francesca@onpointworld.com

Background: Temporary Protected Status is for foreign nationals currently residing in the U.S. whose homeland conditions are recognized by the US government as being temporarily unsafe or overly dangerous to return to (e.g., war, earthquake, flood, drought, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions). TPS would afford undocumented Haitians SSN, work authorization, driver licenses and opportunity to attend school while they are in the US as Haiti recovers from four devastating hurricanes in 2008.