The NAACP has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security alleging that the Trump administration's decision to lift the temporary protected status on Haitian immigrants was racially motivated.
"The action by the Department of Homeland Security to rescind TPS status for Haitian immigrants is clearly racially motivated," Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, said in a statement, per Newsweek. "The U.S. Constitution prohibits singling out certain immigrants for harsh treatment based on their skin color and/or ethnicity. But more than that, basic fairness militates against this draconian action taken by DHS under the direction of President Trump."
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, an estimated 46,000 Haitians received protected status. However, Department of Homeland Security officials deemed that the "extraordinary conditions" in the country which forced its citizens to seek residence in the U.S. "no longer exists."
Elaine Duke, former acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement that "Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent." Duke continued, "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."
The decision by the DHS to remove the protected status for Haitians wasn't helped by the timing of Trump's remarks where he allegedly referred to Haiti, among others, as "shithole countries."