HIAS Condemns End of TPS for 50,000 Haitians
Nov 21, 2017
SILVER SPRING, Md.—On November 20, the Trump Administration announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 50,000 Haitians in the United States. Currently 330,000 people from a range of countries are living and working legally in the U.S. under TPS because their home countries have been afflicted by natural disasters or armed conflict and the U.S. government has determined that it would be unsafe to send them home.
Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, stated:
“Ending TPS for Haitians is unnecessary and inhumane. Haitians living in the United States under TPS have been in this country for more than seven years. Many have children who are U.S citizens; many others were children when they were granted TPS and grew up here. Conditions in Haiti are extremely dangerous and thousands of Haitians depend on the support of relatives in the U.S. who send money home to help them survive. Sending them home now will, for no compelling reason, upend the lives of thousands of people who are contributing members of communities across the United States.”
The U.S. government first granted TPS to Haitians already in the U.S. after a 2010 earthquake ravaged the country’s infrastructure, displaced 1.5 million people, and killed at least 220,000. A cholera epidemic followed the earthquake and, exacerbated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, remains endemic. Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria have downed power lines, severely damaged infrastructure, and caused massive flooding on the island.
After July 2019, Haitians will be forced to choose between returning to a country unable to absorb them and where medical care, school, work, and even shelter may be unavailable, or living in fear of arrest, detention, and deportation. Many have already begun fleeing to Canada to avoid being forced to return to a country where 2.5 million Haitians still rely on humanitarian aid.