Over the weekend, immigrants and advocates in Miami demonstrated outside a USCIS office in support of a renewal of temporary protective status for Haitians, waving signs, dancing, chanting, and playing music. Protesters held signs reading “save TPS”, “Haitian lives matter”, “unity makes strength”, and “TPS is liberty”.
The Trump Administration must announce by May 23 whether it’ll renew Haitian TPS, though a decision could come down as soon as this week. Haitians in the US have been extended temporary protected status since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (and a subsequent hurricane and cholera epidemic). If Trump decides against renewing TPS, some 58,000 people living in the US will be deported to deplorable conditions in Haiti.
When Trump campaigned in Florida last year, he told Haitians that “the Haitian-American community adds so much to our country: dedication to family, perseverance, entrepreneurship” and that he would be their “greatest champion”. Now, however, his Administration seems so willing to remove Haitians that he is reportedly looking into Haitian crimes and use of social services, as a way of making their mass deportations seem more palatable.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have publicly supported allowing Haitians to stay, with faith leaders and unions joining the effort. The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Miami Herald have all written editorials supporting TPS renewal. Furthermore, advocates worry that a rejection of Haitian TPS this year could mean similar cancellations for 350,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans next year.
View photos and videos of Saturday’s rally to #saveTPS here or below: