By Sam Bojarski
Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. emphasized the high stakes of the November election, while addressing voters at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, on Oct. 5.
“The Haitian community itself can determine the outcome of this election,” Biden said, acknowledging the importance of winning the battleground state of Florida.
The former vice president implored voters to register, given the Oct. 5 voter registration deadline in Florida. He emphasized his strong Catholic faith, which he shares with many Haitian-Americans. Biden also voiced his support for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which applies to about 55,000 Haitians in the United States.
Joe Biden addresses supporters at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, on Oct. 5. Courtesy of PBS News Hour
A federal appeals court ruled in September that the Trump administration has authority to end TPS.
Biden emphasized the Obama administration’s efforts to rescue Haitians following the January 2010 earthquake. Following the earthquake, he said, the administration also granted TPS to Haitians, a move activists had requested for years.
Now is not the time to end TPS, Biden told supporters in his Oct. 5 address. He also promised to maintain communication with Haitian-Americans, if he wins the White House.
“I promise you there will be no quit on my part as your president [in] making sure the Haitian community has an even shot,” Biden said, about the community reaching its potential. “If elected, we’ll be back. It’s not the last you’ll hear of me.”
Biden addressed Haitian-American supporters for about eight minutes. Sandy Dorsainvil, who manages the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, gave a brief introduction prior to Biden’s address.
Dorsainvil also introduced the Democratic nominee to the Haitian-American elected officials in attendance, including Florida Rep. Dotie Joseph, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime, North Miami Vice Mayor Dr. Alix Desulme, North Miami Councilmember Mary Estime-Irvin, North Miami Beach Commissioner McKenzie Fleurimond, North Miami Beach Commissioner Paule Villard and North Miami Clerk Vanessa Joseph.
To read more about Joe Biden’s detailed priorities for Haitian-Americans, click here.