Trump Administration Ends Temporary Protection for Haitians

People at an Immigration Rally

"No Haitian deserves to go back to Haiti", Dupuy said.

And once they're gone, they're Haiti's problem again.

Dupuy said the Haitian government is corrupt. A year after Hurricane Matthew, people in South Haiti are still living in tents.

"I don't see any justification for this at all", she said.

Dupuy said if someone came into the U.S.to sell drugs or commit terrorism, or got in trouble with the police, they should be deported.

"I wanted to come here for a better life".

Second to the people of El Salvador, Haitians are the second largest group of people with temporary status in the United States. Countries can gain TPS status due to an armed conflict, environmental disaster, epidemic or other temporary condition.

The protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras were set to expire in 2018.

The decision by acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke gives Haitians 18 months to return to their impoverished Caribbean country or legalise their status in the United States. The 2010 natural disaster 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. These include but are not limited to community forums on TPS, panel discussions with Haitian community organizers, stakeholder teleconferences, regular meetings with TPS beneficiaries, news releases to the Haitian community, meetings with Haitian government officials, meetings at local churches, and listening sessions. "Haiti has also demonstrated a commitment to adequately prepare for when the country's TPS designation is terminated".

When their protected status expires, individuals living in the USA under those protections will revert to the status they would have had otherwise or the status they applied for in the interim, meaning thousands could become undocumented overnight if they do not leave or qualify for residency another way, reports CNN.

Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-In-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society says that once the TPS re-registration period is announced in the coming days, affected Haitians will be able to contact The Legal Aid Society at (844) 955-3425 or [email protected] to schedule a renewal appointment, "at which we will also screen applicants for other, hopefully, more permanent forms of immigration relief". Countries that are now covered Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. 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. They argue that it is contrary to American values to force people to return to a country that is risky and unstable. She said it could have repercussions far beyond TPS status for a single nationality.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, called the decision "un-American" and "another cruel action by President Trump".

"The law makes it clear that TPS for Haiti must end", he said. "Those efforts will continue", he said.

Every 18-months or so the federal government re-assesses whether country conditions have improved, and thus whether to extend or terminate TPS. Many of them work in fields like home care.

The organizations say affected Haitians face a "terrible choice" of returning to a still-struggling nation or remaining in the USA illegally. There are an estimated 44 thousand TPS recipients from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras living in Florida. The vast majority are from Central America and Haiti. The quake displaced about 1.5 million people and reduced much of the country to rubble. For example, Maria Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the liberal health care advocacy group Health Care for All, said TPS beneficiaries are now eligible to buy insurance on the state's Health Connector.

"Our immigrant communities deserve the chance to live, study, and work in the United States without constant fear of deportation", said Assembly Member Felix W. Ortiz, Assistant Speaker.

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