MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on immigration privileges for Haitians being reviewed by the Trump Administration (all times local):
Haitian immigrants and their advocates say they don’t understand why a U.S. immigration official sought crime data on Haitians protected from deportation since a 2010 earthquake.
Ivica Fremon of Miami says the “temporary protected status” helps her support her family. She said Wednesday that she’s never had legal trouble because all she does is “work, go to church and go home.”
Cheryl Little of Americans for Immigrant Justice says many with the protected status have lived in the U.S. for over a decade, pay taxes and have children who are U.S. citizens.
Radio host Salusa Basquin encouraged his Florida listeners to vote for Trump. He now says he expects Trump to honor his campaign promises to his community and consider other factors besides crime statistics when it comes to U.S. immigration policies affecting Haitians.
Haitian government officials say they’re ill-equipped to welcome back tens of thousands of people granted U.S. immigration privileges after a 2010 earthquake.
Roughly 50,000 Haitians legally living and working in the U.S. could face deportation if the Trump Administration doesn’t renew their “temporary protected status” this month.
At Haiti’s embassy in Washington on Wednesday, Political and Economic Affairs Specialist Dave Fils-Aime said Haiti’s diplomats will ask U.S. officials to continue those protections. He says the return of so many Haitian nationals “would be detrimental” to the Caribbean country.
Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Rodrigue said his country is still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Matthew in October.
Rodrigue also said the potential loss of remittances would cause difficulties. Haiti benefited from about $1.3 billion in remittances from the United States in 2015.
Roughly 50,000 Haitians legally living and working in the U.S. could suddenly face deportation if immigration privileges granted after a 2010 earthquake devastated their Caribbean homeland are allowed to expire.
President Donald Trump’s acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says Haiti has achieved enough stability to no longer need special consideration when it comes to deportations.
The Trump administration must decide by May 23 whether to extend or end the program.
Haitian-American leaders say ending “temporary protected status” for Haitians will mean deporting homeowners, business owners and many others who send money to family members coping with poverty, cholera and political instability in Haiti.
Democrats and Republicans alike are urging Trump to keep his campaign promise to be a “champion” for Haitians.
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