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TPS to End for Haitians

On Monday, the Trump administration’s Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians is ending as of July 22, 2019. 

Nearly 60,000 Haitian citizens have been allowed to live and work in the U.S. since the devastating earthquake shook Haiti in 2010. A statement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notes, “This decision follows then-Secretary Kelly’s announcement in May 2017 that Haiti had made considerable progress, and that the country’s designation will likely not be extended past six months.”

TPS allows people to remain in the U.S. under a humanitarian program for citizens of countries that are war ravaged or plagued by natural disasters. Earlier this month, Duke announced the end of TPS status for Nicaraguans.

The announcement from U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicated that the decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was based on review of current conditions. “Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist,” read the statement.

News sources are reporting concern and fear on the part of the Haitians impacted. An article on the website for New York news outlet PIX noted that advocates for Haitians say conditions in the island nation haven’t improved sufficiently to force Haitians to return. Haiti remains poor. Just last month, the United Nations ended a peacekeeping mission to the country. Its new mission involves about 1,300 international civilian police officers.

The New York Times reported that various groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the United States Chamber of Commerce and several immigration advocacy organizations urged President Donald J. Trump to extend the protections.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) tweeted: “There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them. This decision today by DHS is unconscionable. And I am strongly urging the administration to reconsider. Ultimately, we need a permanent legislative solution.”