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Pierrot Mervilier, center rear, hugs a girl that did not wish to be identified, living in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after she and her family spoke to members of the media, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Miami.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Monday it is ending a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States since a 2010 powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation.

The Homeland Security Department said conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, so the benefit will be extended one last time — until July 2019 — to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.

“Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent,” the department said in a press release. “Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens.”

Advocates and members of Congress from both parties had asked the Trump administration for an 18-month extension of the program, known as Temporary Protected Status. Haitian President Jovenel Moise’s government also requested the extension.

Rony Ponthieux, a 49-year-old Haitian nurse with temporary residency who has lived in Miami since 1999, told The Associated Press, “This isn’t over, this is time we get to fight for renewal, not to pack our bags.” She has a daughter and a son born in the United States and another son in Port-au-Prince.

“We need to push Washington to provide a legal status for us with TPS,” Ponthieux said. “This is anti-immigrant policy.”

Advocates for Haitians quickly criticized the decision, arguing the conditions in the island nation haven’t improved nearly enough for Haitians to be deported.

Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, expressed “strong opposition” to the measure and urged the administration to reconsider.

“Forcing them to leave the United States would be detrimental,” he said in a press release. “Almost eight years later, Haiti remains in total disarray and still requires much rebuilding.”

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 U.S.-born children who may now lose their Haitian parents and caregivers to deportation.

While Haiti has made advances spurred by international aid since the quake, the Caribbean nation remains one of the poorest in the world. More than 2.5 million people, roughly a quarter of the population, live on less than $1.23 a day, which authorities there consider extreme poverty.

The United Nations last month ended a peacekeeping mission in Haiti that, at its peak, included more than 10,000 troops. Its new mission is comprised of about 1,300 international civilian police officers and 350 civilians who will help the country try to reform a deeply troubled justice system.

The Homeland Security Department made its announcement 60 days before temporary status for the Haitians is set to expire. In May, the agency extended the program for only six months instead of the customary 18, and urged Haitians under the program to get their affairs in order and prepare to go home.

The temporary status covers some 435,000 people from nine countries ravaged by natural disasters or war, who came to the U.S. legally or otherwise. Days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2010, President Barack Obama granted the 18-month protection status for Haitians in America who would otherwise have to go home. Obama renewed it every time it ran out.

Monday’s decision doesn’t affect thousands of Haitians who were taken in by Brazil and other South American countries after the earthquake and began making their way to the United States last year. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says 6,424 Haitians showed up at border crossings with Mexico during the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, up from only 334 a year earlier. They were generally paroled to live in the United States on humanitarian grounds.

Since taking office, Trump has ended temporary permit programs for Sudan and Nicaragua. He postponed until next July a decision on how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras.

U.S. officials have said conditions in Haiti have significantly improved since the disaster. But advocates for Haitians say a persistent cholera epidemic and damages caused by three hurricanes since 2016 exacerbate the difficulty for returning Haitians.

Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, last week unveiled new legislation to protect undocumented immigrants living under temporary protected status. It would make immigrants under the program eligible to apply for legal permanent residency after three years.


Associated Press writer Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami contributed to this report.


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24 thoughts on “U.S. Ending Residency Permits For 60,000 Haitians

  1. Christianforreal on said:

    Virginia, you are absolutely correct, however history notes that WE, Blacks made the most contributions to this country. Our backs were blistered more than any other race in the building and progression of this country. Our men were killed on the front line defending this country. So yes, as you say many other races of people helped to grow this country, however we are like the chicken and the pig when it comes to contributing to this breakfast!!

  2. Virginia on said:

    Theo, I know Haitians are not African. I was replying to L’s post directly above.

    The last sentence should read “America that were not theirs.”

  3. From 1880 to 1924, more than two million Eastern Europeans, mainly Catholics, immigrated to the U.S. Of those, immigrants of Polish ancestry were the largest group. During the same period, roughly two million Jews came to the U.S., seeking opportunity and fleeing the political massacre taking place in Eastern Europe. Will they also be sent back?

      • mynue, u can’t handle the Truth that white came from Black as white can ONLY produce white or pale. Brown comes from Black, Red comes from Black, yellow comes from Black. Though u refer to urself as white, your pigmentation is actually PALE exactly like the pigmentation of a monkey or chimpanzee. I dare u to shave the hair from a monkey, it’s pigmentation is just like yours. U can’t handle the Truth.

      • Virginia on said:

        Skin color comes from melanin, which is produced in varying quantities depending on geographical occupation. White people have very low amounts and live in the colder climates of the world. As they migrated during early civilization, tribes skin would produce more melanin because of higher education to sunlight.

      • Virginia, ur THEORY is incorrect in that Melanin is INNATE in People of Color, whether they are in Europe or Africa or South America. Caucasian people anatomical and/or biological parts CANNOT innately produce melanin or very limited melanin as Black People’s anatomical parts. Of-course white people with a mixture of Black ancestry have melanin is manifest by white people with Black Hair, Brown Eyes, as white in & of itself CANNOT produce Black hair & Brown eyes.

      • Virginia on said:

        “education should have been exposure”

        I was speaking of light intense exposure over thousands of years that have an effect on the amount of genetically produced melanin. Those living in N Europe wore more clothes over time than Aficans, less exposure to sun = lighter skin. More exposure tans whites in summer.

      • @Virginia, ur THEORY is proven INCORRECT by the Eskimos in Alaska; though they have limited Sun Exposure, they maintain their Dark Pigmentation informs humanity that Dark People anatomical and/or biological system innately produces Melanin without Sun Exposure.

      • Virginia on said:

        @Theo, The evolution of humans from monkeys was about 100k years ago, with that split, humans evolved to a hairless body and increased melanin to darken the skin in order to protect it from UV-B radiation and others. The Out Of Africa migration took people to colder climates with lesser UV-B and over time melanin production reducedand the peoples remained light skinned to differing degrees. With the mobility of people across the earth, it is unlikely there will be any more significant changes in pigmentation.

  4. If they are like their black american counterparts they think the US is racist anyway. So, going back to Haiti should be a blessing!

  5. Virginia on said:

    The US can not just keep bringing in more and more people. The US has been taking care of these Hatians for four years now, of course they don’t want to go home to their poverty stricken lives, would you?


    • Kann, ALREADY a DISASTER before U.S. Ending Residency, because the leadership of Haiti Neglects to sincerely/faithfully secure it’s own people is not Trump’s or America’s fault.

  6. O Master, please continue to take-care of my Black self. As a Black man, this has gotten old; US Begging & Begging the white man to take care of US. We truly need to get busy figuring out a way to take care of our own lives & destiny without factoring whitey in the equation. As the Good Book says, ‘a people without vision will perish’ does NOT mean a Vision with the white man taking care of or providing a means for our Black existence.

  7. americanize on said:

    The narcissist white supremist was taught well by his klan supporting dad.Nothing white devils do or say shocks me.Slavery didn’t end in 1865 it just evolved.

  8. This is nothing but RACIAL PROFILING!!!!!!

    What about all of the European Foreigners who are in this damn country-possibly illegally-

    Leave Amerykah to the FOLKS WHO BUILT IT-DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AFRICAN AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Virginia on said:

      Just because AA were slaves, doesn’t mean they “built” America. I think that many different nationalities of men built America! They all came here to be free from the government’s that enslaved them,(I know it was to different degrees). Because AA were sold and such, and badly mistreated, doesn’t give the right to claim exorbitant contributions to America that we’re not there.

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