Temporary Protected Status to End for Haitians

On Nov. 18, community leaders and elected officials marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to call for an extension of TPS. (Photo by Fabiola Jean via The Haitian Times)

The Trump administration announced Monday, Nov. 20, it will not renew Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. The nearly 60,000 Haitians living with the status have until July 22, 2019 – or 18 months – to leave the U.S. TPS has been in place for Haitians since the 2010 earthquake. According to a press release on the termination, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke “determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist” given the information available “ including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process.”

In reporting on the announcement, The Haitian Times’ Vania André noted that immigration advocates say “Haiti is no more equipped to repatriate thousands of people now” than in 2010.

Following the 2010 earthquake, Haiti has dealt with two catastrophic hurricanes that caused millions in damage and displaced thousands of people. Simultaneously, the small island nation has been grappling with political and economic instability, protests and an influx of Haitian Dominicans who lost their immigration status in the Dominican Republic.

“The current Haitian administration will not be prepared to take these people in,” said Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul, a political sociologist and founding director of CUNY’s Haitian Studies Institute. “We have a clear example with the Haitians living in Dominican Republic. Every week the Dominican Republic deports Haitians and the Haitian government has no capacity to receive them.”

On Nov. 6, Duke announced the end of TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans, who have until Jan. 5, 2019 to leave the U.S. and deferred a decision on TPS extension for the 57,000 Hondurans with the status. In the meantime the designation was extended for them by six months to July 5, 2018.

The president of the Haitian Americans Lawyers Association of New York described how the situation at home is “very different” for Haitians than it is for Nicaraguans and Hondurans. Go to The Haitian Times for her comments, as well as more from Saint Paul and reaction from Haitian-American Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte to the announcement.

In its story on the end of TPS for Haitians, Long Island Wins’ Patrick Young criticized the Trump administration, calling the decision “an act of politically-motivated heartlessness.” He cited numbers that indicate how Haitians have established a life in the U.S.:

According to the Center for Migration Studies, Haitians on TPS have 27,000 U.S.-citizen children among them and 6,200 are homeowners. The ending of TPS will have a devastating impact on the individuals losing their status and on the communities where they live. A majority of the impacted Haitians live in Florida, but an estimated 2,000 live in New York City and Long Island.

Young added: “The decision to end TPS has less to do with conditions on the ground in Haiti…” Read more at Long Island Wins.

Go to Bklyner for statements from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assembly member Félix W. Ortiz, Haitian-born Council member Mathieu Eugene and Rep. Yvette Clarke.

On Nov. 14, Rep. Clarke introduced a bipartisan bill that would let TPS recipients apply for permanent residency. Read more at Caribbean Life.

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