District of Columbia, Nov 21: Some 59,000 Haitian immigrants in the United States will no longer receive protective status starting in 18 months, opening the door for their potential repatriation to their desperately poor home country.
Haitian immigrants received Temporary Protected Status after a 2010 earthquake that devastated the already impoverished Caribbean nation.
The mega-disaster killed more than 200,000 people, destroyed much of the capital Port-au-Prince and displaced 1.5 million Haitians.
TPS made it possible for Haitians in the United States to stay after their visas expired, and to work legally.
But after a review, US Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke “determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist,” a statement read.
“Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent. Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens.”Steve Forester, coordinator of the Miami-based Institute for Justice and Democracy In Haiti, called the decision a “disgrace.”
“It is completely inappropriate given the conditions in Haiti,” he told AFP.
“This is the triumph of ideology over facts, because the facts on the ground are clear and this will destabilize Haiti and is bad for the United States.”
In Florida, home to nearly half of the million Haitians in the US, the community`s main group planned a protest for Tuesday at President Donald Trump`s Mar-a-Lago resort.