Thousands of Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders are terrified of their futures as 2019 deadline approaches
Martin Vassolo from the Miami Herald highlights the fear spreading across Haitian communities as the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program is less than a year out from its expiration on July 22, 2019 after the Trump Administration ended the program.
The expiration has the potential to create a new family separation crisis.
Vassolo’s article excerpted below and available in full here:
Warning of the potential for a new family separation crisis within South Florida’s sprawling Haitian and Central American neighborhoods, immigrant advocates and Haitian-born recipients long shielded from deportation are calling for the Trump administration to extend their Temporary Protected Status prior to the 2019 deadline.
Parents who came to the U.S. following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and their U.S.-born children — plus many Haitians who were already living in the U.S. — say they fear mass deportations and family separations if the federal government does not act quickly.
“I’m scared to death,” said 11-year-old Christina Ponthieux, whose parents are both recipients of the protected status. “This is our home.
Members of the community gathered Tuesday in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood and argued that their home country, which in recent weeks has been plagued by political instability and civic unrest, is in no position to receive tens of thousands of returning citizens and their U.S.-born children. And after building up lives of their own in South Florida, the families don’t want to leave.
Marleine Bastien, the founder and executive director of FANM, said many Haitian TPS recipients have lived in the U.S. between seven and 28 years.
“In 363 days, 58,000 Haitian families will be facing deportation to Haiti,” she said. “How do you ask a family to pack 30 years of their lives in a suitcase?”
Bastien said the Trump administration has a “moral obligation to make a decision now.”