Trump Administration Ends Protective Status for almost 60000 Haitians
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 22, 2017,
Nov 22, 2017, 0:22
"Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019". They're afraid not only of having to return to Haiti, but also of having their families split up - those 59,000 Haitian immigrants are raising some 30,000 children with US citizenship.
The protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras were set to expire in 2018.
The move to terminate TPS for Haitians comes after a similar step was taken against 5,000 Nicaraguans. An official said Haitians in the country who were displaced by the natural disaster had decreased by 97 percent from its 2010 peak and that a Haitian government was in place after two years of an electoral impasse. MA has about 4,700 Haitian TPS holders. Florida and Texas may be particularly hard hit as they continue to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American Democrat from Boston, said the decision gives Haitians some respite because of the 18-month extension.
The decision will upend the lives of thousands of Haitians in the USA, many of whom have taken advantage of their legal status to put down roots, building careers and raising children, many of whom are American citizens.
The bulk of the Haitians impacted by the order live in Florida.
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Ms. Duke was right to resist the White House, and she was right to include in her decision a call on Congress "to enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program", one that would make it possible for people under temporary protection to seek a more stable and permanent stay in America. We must remain committed to those principles and stand with our neighbors in Haiti as they tackle their challenges.
Her brother, Jean Dupuy, program development coordinator for the Haitian Apostolate, said it is a relief Haitians will not immediately be deported, but "we still have to fight to get what we need".
Officials said Monday that the political climate in Haiti had stabilized.
"The unfortunate treatment of those that hold Temporary Protected Status in this country under this Administration is dishonorable and disgraceful", said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, a daughter of Haitian immigrants. Individuals who are already in the United States from the designated countries are eligible and are then protected from deportation. They work. They pay every tax except the federal income tax.
Critics of the decision said it does not match the reality on the ground in Haiti. The 2010 quake that struck Haiti continues to leave the island unrecognizable and destabilized the country's economy, making adequate housing, healthcare and employment unattainable for millions of Haitians, while recent hurricanes have only worsened conditions in the country.
"With Donald Trump and his administration's, along with his supporters', bigoted and relentless assault on immigrants around the country, it is more important than ever to protect those people in our communities who are most vulnerable to these attacks", said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.