Haitians who were legally evacuated to the U.S. after a massive, deadly earthquake in 2010 had their worst fears confirmed Monday when the Trump administration announced it would soon be sending them back home despite reports that Haiti was in worse condition than ever. There was definitely a method to the madness of the president, whose efforts on immigration have largely failed even though that was a major portion of the campaign he ran to get elected.
After he ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to round up and deport any and all undocumented immigrants across the country, many of those who were targeted sought refuge in so-called sanctuary cities, where municipalities provide protection based on local laws, not federal. Since that and building his border wall have seemingly stalled, Trump turned his immigration reform attention to a group who he definitely could kick out: Haitians.
The Temporary Protection Status afforded to about 50,000 Haitians will expire in late January and would not be renewed in part because “Haiti had made considerable progress” after the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Elaine Duke said in a press release Monday.
That decision was misguided at best, according to an immigrant advocacy group.
“DHS refuses to acknowledge the compounded impact of several environmental disasters along with an ongoing cholera epidemic on the recovery process in Haiti. In the midst of rebuilding and revitalizing its overall infrastructure, large influxes of nationals will disrupt and negatively impact the nation’s path towards recovery,” Opal Tometi, Executive Director of the the Black Alliance for Just Immigration said in a press release Tuesday. “On the eve of Thanksgiving the Administration has decided to contravene basic humanitarianism in favor of an immigration agenda that is drenched in racism, nativism, and xenophobia.”
The timing of the decision was questionable, too, as a federal judge on Monday permanently blocked Trump’s executive order to stop sending funds to the so-called sanctuary cities that have not been cooperating with national immigration law enforcement agents.