The Trump administration announced on Monday that it was rescinding the temporary protected status of some 60,000 Haitians who have lived and worked in the U.S. since 2010, when an earthquake devastated the Caribbean island.
According to a statement from acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Haitians with protected status living in the U.S. have 18 months to leave or be eligible for deportation. Officially, Haiti’s protected status will end on July 22, 2018. Duke’s decision was expected and followed an announcement former DHS Secretary John Kelly made in May suggesting Haiti’s TPS designation would be revoked.
“Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97%. Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens,” Duke said.
At the beginning of November, Homeland Security also yanked the TPS designation for Nicaragua and delayed its decision on Honduras. Nearly 5,200 Nicaraguans who have lived in the U.S. since Hurricane Mitch struck Central America in 1998 will be eligible for deportation in November of next year.
When President Trump was a candidate, he told an audience in Miami’s Little Haiti that he would be their “biggest champion.” Heartless doesn’t even begin to cover Trump’s empty promise, but it certainly aligns with the general themes of his presidency: attacking immigrants and building useless walls.