According to reporter Adam Geller at the Associated Press, blockbuster new emails revealed in an ongoing trial around the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, Saget et al v. Trump, show that the Trump administration “was so bent on ending TPS that it ignored the U.S. government’s own research showing that Haiti was in no shape to take people back.”
The emails portray Trump’s true motivation behind unlawfully ending TPS for more than 50,000 Haitians and their 27,000 American children- racial animus against immigrants of color.
Geller’s reporting is excerpted below and available in full here.
A trial in New York over the Trump administration’s move to cut off permission for thousands of Haitians to live in the U.S. is spotlighting emails between officials downplaying health and safety crises in the Caribbean nation as they tried to justify the change.
The case centers on the Temporary Protected Status program, which has allowed about 50,000 people from Haiti to live and work in the U.S. temporarily since a devastating earthquake in 2010. The emails, filed with documents in the case, bolster the argument by migrant advocates that the Trump administration was so bent on ending TPS that it ignored the U.S. government’s own research showing that Haiti was in no shape to take people back.
“The problem” with that analysis, one Trump appointee to the Department of Homeland Security, Kathy Kovarik, wrote in an October 2017 email, “is that it reads as though we’d recommend an extension (of TPS) because we talk so much about how bad it is.”
“The basic problem is that it IS bad there,” another official responded. “We can … try to get more, and/or comb through the country conditions we have again looking for positive gems, but the conditions are what they are.”
The non-jury trial in federal court in Brooklyn stems from one of seven lawsuits filed by immigrants and advocates over the 2017 moves to end TPS. The program has allowed about 300,000 people from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan and other countries to stay in the U.S. for years after their home countries were upended by natural disasters or violence.