The Donald Trump administration has brought unforeseen changes to the social and political climate of the United States. With many of his unprecedented moves targeting minorities, Americans who have migrated from other countries remain Trump’s MAGA radar. The latest program to come under attack has allowed Haitians to live and work in the United States since a devastating earthquake hit the island in 2010.
Those under the Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, will be forced to leave or face deportation as soon as July 2019 as Donald Trump ends the program. With large population of Haitian-American’s, communities in South Florida and New York were immediately and rightfully angered by the decision.
There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them. This decision today by DHS is unconscionable. And I am strongly urging the administration to reconsider. Ultimately, we need a permanent legislative solution. https://t.co/Ft0bE0itf6
— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) November 21, 2017
The program, which has been continually renewed since implementation accounts for nearly half of the non-permanent Hatian residents in the United States, according to the Pew research center. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke believes Haiti has sufficiently recovered from the 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake which killed over 200,000 people and displaced more than a million more.
“The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s original designation were based and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute.” says Duke in a press release announcing the decision.
Newsweek reports at least 16 percent of Haitian TPS holders have lived in the U.S. for at least two decades. This includes families who have had children and created lives in America. Statistics reported by the Center for Migration Studies note 6,200 of them hold mortgages. 27,000 of them have US-born, US citizen children. Ending TPS threatens the to shatter dreams as many are faced with the decision of leaving their family, friends and community behind, willingly returning to Haiti or remain in America fighting against the administration and face deportation.