Trump administration extends protected status for Haitians

Trump Administration Lets Down Haitian Community
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Pushing Feds to Let 50000 Haitians Remain in the Country

23 May, 2017

Haiti's TPS designation expires in July of this year, which means that Haitians with this status may be deported from the U.S. For months now, various stakeholders have been pressing DHS to renew the designation, citing disruptions in the lives of Haitians who are settled in the United States, and risky conditions in Haiti exacerbated by a 2016 hurricane and a cholera epidemic started by United Nations peacekeepers in 2010.

There are almost 59,000 recipients of TPS from Haiti living in the USA, the officials said. But internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press show that as part of the decision-making progress, an official at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had asked for criminal statistics and other information about the Haitian immigrants in the program.

"I believe there are indications that Haiti ― if its recovery from the 2010 natural disaster continues at pace ― may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018", he said.

The administration of President Donald Trump plans to working with the Haitian government and helping the country in providing travel documentation for its nationals, Kelly stressed.

Tometi said her group practices "transformational solidarity", which views people's destinies as intertwined "and that when we lift up those who are most marginalized, all of us will benefit".

Haiti "has not recovered entirely from the quake", the ambassador said, noting that not all of the financial aid pledged by "many friends and countries around the world" had materialized. Since then, the country has struggled to rebuild and to shore up its economy, and has contended with hurricane disasters, political turmoil and a sweeping cholera epidemic. President Jovenel Moise was sworn in in February.

At the same time, Kelly indicated that Haitian refugees should get ready to go home soon - a message that some Democratic supporters of Florida's Haitian refugees, particularly U.S. Reps. Mixed-status families could be torn apart. Beneficiaries of TPS status may work and travel in the United States and can not be deported.

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"It's very unfortunate that the federal government would take this position with the Haitian community - singling out the Haitian community", Walsh said as he marched in the annual Haitian parade yesterday in Mattapan.

Kelly's order extends Temporary Protected Status until January 22, 2018, six months beyond the original expiration date of July 22.

Under the Obama administration, TPS for Haitian citizens was extended every 18 months.

The U.S. government official, who has been briefed on the decision, said the program will continue until January.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, ranking member of a subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security, promised in a Twitter post to "fight for extensions until Haiti is fully recovered". In a May 3 interview for "Democracy Now", Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami, responded to Trump's campaign promise: "We hope that he will do the right thing, because. sending all these people back to Haiti will be a travesty". With subsequent droubt and more flooding, "they still haven't been able to begin to recover from that".

In the leaked memo, McCament recommended extending the program for six months, out of a possible 18. She added, "Anything less would be irresponsible and reckless".

TPS status is meant to temporarily protect citizens of foreign countries from returning to risky areas hit by civil war, natural disasters or "other extraordinary and temporary conditions". They include Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, hardest hit by an Ebola crisis several years ago.

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