Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Haitians had staged protests across the USA as the clock ticked on the May 21 deadline for the TPS. A final decision about the long-term fate of those immigrants will be decided at a later date.

Haitians who were in the U.S.by January 2011 following the quake and ensuing cholera outbreak are eligible for protected status, and only those who have had the status are eligible to re-register by July.

San Diego saw a more recent influx of Haitians who left their country in 2010 to work in Brazil following the natural disaster.

More than 58,000 Haitians living in the United States, including 4,700 in MA, will have their temporary immigration protections extended for six months, a timeframe some Bay State officials said Monday is not long enough.

"The secretary has received commitments and statements from the Haitian government that they actually do in fact want their TPS recipients living in the United States to return to Haiti to help rebuild their country", the official said.

"There's a workforce of Haitians in every sector of business, and I don't think we should overlook that", Jean said.

Haitian participation in the program was set to expire in July. "Six months from now, we'll be facing the exact same situation".

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The Homeland Security Department denied that criminal information would be used to determine whether the Haitians could stay in the United States, saying that department Secretary John Kelly simply wanted more information about program participants. The officials briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity despite President Donald Trump's insistence that anonymous sources shouldn't be trusted. But as he and others have noted during the past few weeks, Haiti has yet to recover from devastating natural disasters and a cholera outbreak that has killed thousands, and uprooting tens of thousands of people who have US citizen kids, work and pay taxes, and have built their lives here since the 2010 Haiti quake could mean not only misery for them, but have vast reverberations.

"This decision reflects the compassion and generosity of spirit that should be the hallmark of USA policy toward Haitians in the United States who are unable to safely return to their homeland", Markey said. The country has also dealt with a cholera epidemic that killed 9,000, a long drought, and last year's Hurricane Matthew, the biggest storm to hit Haiti in 50 years. ICE removed 459 Haitians in 2015 and 310 in 2016 - this tracks the decline in deportations at the end of the Obama administration but shows that the country is not "unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return" of its citizens, as the TPS law states.

"It's cruel to send back 50,000 individuals back to Haiti".

There was no immediate comment from the Haitian government. They said reports on crime rates and use of social services by specific groups were separate from decisions on TPS. A decision will be made later this year. Immigration was a top campaign issue and one that's important to his political base. A USA government official says the Trump administration has agreed to extend it by at least six months.

Kelly determined that conditions in Haiti were improving since the quake seven years ago and the program could be terminated instead of extended again. In a statement Kelly urged that Haitian nationals begin to assemble travel documents and "make other necessary arrangements for their future departure" from the U.S. She said she is inviting Homeland Security officials to visit Haiti to view conditions. In April, James W. McCament, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recommended that TPS designation for Haiti be terminated.

"They are trying to play with words, claiming they are extending it for six months", Bastien said. "Six months at a time in this particular instance is what the Secretary felt was appropriate given the conditions on the ground in Haiti".

Steven Forester, the Miami-based immigration policy coordinator for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said six months is not enough time for Haiti to recover from the "sledgehammer blows" it has suffered. "Just because it was renewed for six months does not mean we will stop fighting for the full 18 months".

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