Trump administration to end 'temporary protected status' for Haitians

A U.S. flag flutters over top of the skyline of New York and Jersey City, as seen from Bayonne N.J. Aug. 6 2011. REUTERS  Gary Hershorn

On November 20, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced the Trump administration's decision to end TPS for Haitians and has given those individuals 18 months to leave the United States or face deportation, according to The Washington Post.

Amanda Baran, policy consultant at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, called the termination of the status a "heartless decision" and said the Trump administration has no plan in place for the US -born children who may now lose their Haitian parents and caregivers to deportation.

- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) November 21, 2017There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that can not provide for them.

In 2010, Haiti was hit by a massive 7.0-magnitude quake that killed over 300,000 people. But the Department of Homeland Security said conditions in Haiti have improved significantly since the natural disaster, and the number of displaced Haitians has fallen by 97 percent. The unusually long lead time will give Haitians now under protection an opportunity to seek some other kind of legal status if they qualify - or to make arrangements to leave. At the same time, Duke put off making a decision on the fate of 86,000 Hondurans, saying she needed another six months to gather information about conditions there. According to the Washington Post, a senior official said the 18-month "wind-down" period was provided "to allow families with US -born children to make decisions about what to do, and make arrangements". It's usually renewed in 6 to 18-month intervals. A United Nations military force has left, though an global police force remains. In an article headlined "TPS Holders Are Integral Members of the U.S. Economy and Society", the Center for American Progress claimed that "TPS holders are essential contributors to the U.S. economy and society".

Immigration advocates have said it is wrong and unfair to consider sending large numbers of immigrants back to troubled countries, particularly Haiti.

"This administration has no plan in place for the children who are USA citizens but may now lose their parents and caregivers to deportation", said Amanda Baran of the Washington office of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a advocacy group for immigrants. Not renewing temporary status marks a change in policy when compared to previous administrations.

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"Mr. President, please suspend this order", she said. "There, they kill people for nothing; they kidnap people for nothing", said Fabiola Silias of NY, who says she fled unrest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2006.

In South Florida, many Haitians work in the healthcare industry.

CASA has scheduled a demonstration for December 9 at the U.S. Capitol.

At least 60 days before TPS is set to expire, the Homeland Security secretary must review the conditions for the status designation and decide if protection is still warranted.

A decision on 195,000 recipients from El Salvador is expected in January.

Democrats are also threatening to hold up the federal 2018 budget unless the GOP and President Donald Trump agree to provide a no-strings amnesty for at least 3 million so-called "Dreamer" illegal immigrants - including the 690,000 DACA beneficiaries - plus the 350,000 TPS holders.