The president and his administration are deliberately sabotaging legal Haitian immigration through a number of political channels, advocacy groups, activists and Haitian nationals living in the U.S. said this week.
And if the president’s profane position on Haiti wasn’t already clear enough — he reportedly called the island nation a “shithole” and asked lawmakers “Why do we need more Haitians?” — his administration doubled down on it Thursday by moving to prevent people from Haiti from applying to work legally in the U.S.
“Haitian nationals applying for H-2A and H-2B visas present extremely high rates of refusal, and those issued H-2A or H-2B visas have historically demonstrated high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying the terms of their H-2 admission,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wrote in an official notice released Thursday. “Haiti has shown no improvement in these areas, and the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, that Haiti’s inclusion on the 2018 H-2A and H-2B lists is no longer in the U.S. interest.”
The news came as tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants in the U.S. legally were facing the prospects of immediate unemployment and deportation because the Trump administration delayed the process of re-registering for the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) program under which the group was brought them to the country following a deadly earthquake in 2010.
As a result, many employers have reportedly warned their workers who are TPS holders that they may not have a job come Monday — the day the protection status was set to expire.
“They told me that if I don’t bring the work papers, they will send me home because it is the law. You have to have work papers. I am under pressure,” Edelyne Jean, a nursing assistant in Florida, told the Associated Press. “They say that if I don’t bring anything new by Jan. 22 or the 23rd at the most, I am jobless.”
Any worst, she could be deported for not maintaining gainful employment.
Haitian advocates blamed DHS and suggested the delay was done intentionally to create the situation that TPS holders have found themselves in.
“This is unconscionable, especially since if you recall, right before Thanksgiving 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians,” the Black Alliance for Just Immigration said in a brief statement on Wednesday. “They said they’d only be legally able to remain in the United States until July 22, 2019. Yet once again 60,000 people who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years and have established strong community ties will lose their ability to remain in any meaningful way in a matter of days.”
Trump has insisted he’s looking to protect our borders, but apparently he and his Mar-a-Lago club/estate don’t factor into that flawed immigration equation.
“The foreign workers brought in to help staff [Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club] tend to come from two countries,” including Haiti, the New Yorker reported.
Aside from being the antithesis of humanitarian, moving to rid the country of TPS-holding Haitians as well as those with legal, yet expiring, work visas is also a bad business decision that could adversely affect the country’s economy.
“Haitian farmworkers on the H-2A visa that I have studied in Alabama added $4,000 to the U.S. economy per worker, per month,” Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Center for Global Development, told NBC News.