United States to end temporary residence permits for some 59000 Haitians

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

"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". The protections have allowed Haitians to legally remain in the US and have been extended each year as Haiti struggles to recover. There are also thousands of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, and other groups from the Caribbean and Central America who are here under TPS protections, and the Trump administration is trying to shake them off the mainland, too.

The Obama administration first granted "temporary protected status" to Haitians after the nation was ravaged by a magnitude-7.0 quake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

"Since the 2010 natural disaster, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent", said Duke. Bush and Barack Obama, the TPS program for Haitians was regularly extended continuously. Florida and Texas may be particularly hard hit as they continue to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Critics of Trump's decision say TPS beneficiaries, who are allowed to work in the US, contribute to the economy and pay taxes.

He added that Duke also solicited input from the congressional delegation in Florida, which has a large number of Haitian TPS beneficiaries.

But Duke deferred for six months a decision for the much larger group of 57,000 Hondurans living here under the same designation, saying that more time was needed for consideration.

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

The temporary status covers some 435,000 people from nine countries ravaged by natural disasters or war, who came to the USA legally or otherwise.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January, the department has terminated temporary permit programs for Sudan and Nicaragua. Individuals who are already in the United States from the designated countries are eligible and are then protected from deportation. "Temporary Protected Status is a program that needs to be defended, and we must fight for it".

The federal government rarely has canceled TPS designations once granting them.

Rocio Saenz, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which claims thousands of members living here under TPS, called the decision "heartbreaking, and harmful in every way".

That's why I continue to urge the administration to extend Haiti's TPS designation for 18 more months. After the United Nations diminished its presence in the country last month, it is more important than ever that the United States support global efforts to enhance and maintain security in Haiti and build up its capacity for ensuring the country's security. "For anyone that has been to Haiti in recent months, it is clear that the Administration's decision does not coincide with the risky reality on the ground".

"Besides the human toll on Haitian TPS recipients and their families, it will be costly for their employers, ruinous to the up and coming neighborhoods where they often live, and destablilizing to their countries of origin", Saenz said.

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