Approximately 58,000 Haitians will be sent back to Haiti if their Temporary Protected Status, which was approved by President Obama after the 2010 earthquake, is not extended after its expiration in July. Haitians, their families, lawyers, politicians, and community members fear the devastating effects if TPS is not extended and they are required to return to a struggling Haiti. Tens of thousands of individuals will lose their jobs and be unable to send remittances back to their families. Additionally, returning to Haiti would create even more risks for these individuals and the country as a whole, which already faces a severe food shortage, cholera outbreak and lack of adequate shelter. Although TPS does not expire until July, lawyers warn that the changes need to happen immediately.
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Haitians wonder if they will be sent home to a still-devastated Haiti
Mimi Whitefield, Miami Herald
April 6, 2017
Given President Donald Trump’s hard line on illegal immigration, Haitians are afraid that a special status that allowed some 58,000 Haitians to stay in the United States as their nation recovered from a devastating 2010 earthquake may not be renewed.
Former President Barack Obama approved Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in the wake of the earthquake. It is up for renewal on July 22, but many Haitians who took advantage of the program fear it won’t be extended, sending them back to an impoverished country where efforts to rebuild housing are lagging and 750,000 people still don’t have safe water for drinking and cooking.
“Over 6 1/2 years later, Haiti is still trying to recover. Over 6 1/2 years later, we still have people living under tents. Imagine sending 58,000 people to a country in turmoil,” said Marleine Bastien, executive director of FANM (Haitian Women of Miami), one of about a dozen community groups that came together Thursday in Little Haiti to call for the immediate extension of TPS.
“We are here to ask our partners in the Trump administration to pay attention to Haiti,” Bastien said. “People are anxious, they are concerned, they are scared to death” that they will be sent back.
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