The Trump administration is asking nearly 60,000 Haitians, who are living in the country legally, to pack their bags or face deportation.
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to end a humanitarian program that granted temporary residency permits to those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The Obama administration granted these Haitians “Temporary Protective Status,” which allowed them to work and live in the U.S. while their country recovered. Government officials said they will not extend these protections, as conditions in Haiti have improved. Haitians under TPS now have until July 2019 to leave the country.
“The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s original designation were based and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute,” DHS wrote in statement. “Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, [Acting DHS Secretary Elaine] Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”
Several lawmakers have criticized the decision, insisting the conditions in Haiti were still poor.
TPS is offered to foreigners, including legal residents and undocumented immigrants, who have been displaced by natural disasters or war. According to the Chicago Tribune, about 435,000 people from 10 different countries are currently living in the U.S. under these protections. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would not renew the TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans. Those individuals have until January 2019 to leave or change their immigration status.