Haiti TPS announcement misleading on facts

The Trump administration is going to extend humanitarian protections for tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants who have been living in the United States since a deadly earthquake

South Florida Haitian nationals who have been temporarily protected from deportation on Monday received what appeared to be good news.

More than 58,000 Haitians who stayed in the United States under special protections since the catastrophic 2010 natural disaster will be permitted to remain another six months, U.S. immigration officials said today.

Haiti's TPS designation expires in July of this year, which means that Haitians with this status may be deported from the U.S. For months now, various stakeholders have been pressing DHS to renew the designation, citing disruptions in the lives of Haitians who are settled in the United States, and risky conditions in Haiti exacerbated by a 2016 hurricane and a cholera epidemic started by United Nations peacekeepers in 2010. Such a decision would have affected almost 4,300 Haitians living in MA and New Hampshire, the Globe reported on May 14.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the administration plans to allow for a six-month extension of the special humanitarian immigration status granted to tens of thousands of Haitians.

In the leaked memo, McCament recommended extending the program for six months, out of a possible 18.

U.S. Representative Mario Rafael Díaz-Balart, a Republican whose district includes Miami, issued a statement Monday thanking "President [Donald] Trump and DHS Secretary Kelly for this TPS extension and I support the people of Haiti as they continue to rebuild". The judge rejected the claim that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said President Donald Trump can not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat who represents Miami's Little Haiti community, both said they'd like Trump administration officials to visit Haiti. 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.

The worst part about the possible end is the prospect of parents forced to return to Haiti having to decide what to do with their children who are USA citizens, said Aude M.L. Sicard, of Pembroke Pines, the former longtime president of the Haitian-American Democratic Club of Broward.

While not ideal, that gives advocates of an extended reprieve time to publicize the legitimate reasons it is warranted, and officials the chance to systematically review the evidence that Haiti is back on its feet, if not quite steady. Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing", simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their shanties.

"It's going to create chaos in the country", said Assemb. Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont), who is Haitian-American and advocated for an 18-month TPS extension. They said reports on crime rates and use of social services by specific groups were separate from decisions on TPS. But cracking down on immigrants is the Trump administration's motto.

And Kelly cites are other signs of improvement: The government has announced plans to rebuild the presidential palace, and conditions have stabilized enough that United Nations forces are preparing to leave the country. It has been extended through January 22 - though some US lawmakers, Haitian authorities and immigration advocates who'd sought a longer term expressed disappointment.

Kelly says he has not made a final decision about the fate of the protection program for Haiti.

The Haitian community, lawmakers and the Haitian government have urged the Trump administration to leave the protections in place because they say the country is still not ready to take back immigrants who have been living overseas. The Department of Homeland Security had been debating whether to issue another extension, and some top officials reportedly opposed it.

Kelly did not adopt the recommendation of the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that called for ending the designation for Haitians altogether in July.

"I hope they help my parents and they keep me here", Bastien said before hearing that the TPS program had been extended. "The reality is that in six months Haiti will still be in no position to absorb and aid 58,000 unemployed people".

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