UPDATED: 10:02 p.m. EDT, Nov. 20 — The temporary amnesty enjoyed by tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants will expire by the summer, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.
“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,” an official press release read.
About 50,000 Haitians were evacuated to the U.S. following a massive, deadly earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people on the island nation in 2010. Aside from lingering concerns over cholera, most Haitians were suffering from poverty, with more than 2 million people needed.
“This administration has no plan in place for the children who are U.S. citizens but may now lose their parents and caregivers to deportation,” Amanda Baran, of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, told the Los Angeles Times.
Nearly 50,000 Haitians will find out whether they will be deported by Thanksgiving Day as the expiration date for their Temporary Protection Status is fast approaching, the Miami Herald reported.
The program—which was implemented 27 years ago—grants visas to immigrants so that they aren’t required to return to countries that were impacted by natural disasters or war and have the opportunity to build lives for themselves in the U.S., the news outlet writes. Many Haitians stayed in the U.S. through the program following the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.
President Trump has put a January 22 expiration date on their Temporary Protected Status. Trump’s administration claims that the reasoning behind their decision comes from what they call “improved conditions” in Haiti. However, seven years after the devastating natural disaster, the country is still continuing to recover as it deals with cholera, famine, and other deplorable conditions.
NPR reports that many people in Haiti are financially dependent on those who are in the U.S. under the Temporary Protected Status. Haitians who live in the U.S. and other countries outside of Haiti are expected to send home nearly $2 billion this year. According to the Center for American Progress, if Trump were to follow through with his plan the U.S. GDP would decrease by $164 billion over the next ten years since nearly 80 percent of individuals from Haiti and other Central American countries have jobs in the U.S.
Haiti is calling on Trump’s administration to extend the visas for 18 months, Pew Research reported.
Trump’s plan to take away the Temporary Protected Status program is just another example of his blatant disregard for Black people and other people of color. Many of the individuals who are in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are still hoping that Congress will pass legislation to protect their status.