Haitian TPS-Holders Anxiously Awaiting Trump’s Decision

After finding refuge in the US, many Haitians still remain in fear after the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

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These Haitians Found Refuge From Earthquakes, Cholera, and Poverty. Now Trump Plans to Send Them Back.

Nathalie Baptiste Mother Jones

But, in October 2010, “UN troops inadvertently introduced a still-unchecked cholera epidemic,” said Steve Forester, the immigration policy coordinator at Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, an advocacy group. “Haiti hadn’t had cholera in at least 100 years.” Cholera is an illness caused by an infection of the intestine, which is spread by contaminated food or water. Symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and more. In rich countries, cholera is not fatal because it is generally treated quickly. But in Haiti, where hospitals and qualified doctors are in short supply, treatable illnesses often turn into death sentences. So far, cholera has killed at least 10,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. “Haiti needs the time to deal with the triple-whammy of quake, cholera, and Matthew and the health and food insecurity crises they’ve caused,” says Forester.

In 2011, an UN-appointed panel concluded that a UN camp that housed peacekeepers from Nepal – where the same strain of the disease is endemic – was the source of the infection. The UN is struggling to come up with the resources to fund a sustained recovery effort. Forester points out that the UN has only raised $10 million of its goal of $400 million to effectively begin to combat the epidemic. In December 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered a formal apology for the outbreak. “We simply did not do enough with regard to cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti,” he said. “We are profoundly sorry about our role.”

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