Washington (BBR) - On May 24, 2017, United States Customs and Immigration Service, (USCIS) announced the extension of the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for six months. This allowed eligible Haitians (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) to re-register for TPS. During the six-month extension, beneficiaries were encouraged to prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Haiti.
Days do run fast, and in a twist of irony, the six months’ extension expires on November 23, 2017, Thanksgiving Day.
Ordinarily, anticipation for Thanksgiving Day should be that of bliss, but for the numerous Haitians, it has become an imminent doomsday, as they are at loss on what the Trump Administration would do.
With the current administration’s propensity to either lock or kick people out of the United States, thousands of Haitians are predictably having sleepless nights on fear of being sent packing because, if the TPS is not renewed on Thanksgiving Day, they must leave the United States by January 22.
Let us consider the negative effects of such perilous decision: in the midst of series of humanitarian and natural disasters the people have suffered already. This is more as it is no guess work or secret to know that Haiti government are presently ill-equipped for an influx of returnees; coupled with difficulties families would face in returning to a ravaged abode and most importantly, the scary fate of Haitian-American Children born in the United States in the last seven years. According to the Center for Migration Studies, almost 275,000 United States citizens have been born to TPS recipients from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras in recent years.
The case to renew TPS for Haitians becomes even more cogent with the fact that these are people who came here traumatized, famished and in pains. So far, like Ronyde Christina Ponthieux, the 10 year old that sent a video message pleading on Haitians behalf, “they are not criminals – they are hardworking, honest people who just want a safe place to raise their families,” and have not been directly or indirectly involved in terrorism.
Going by the recent end of TPS for 2500 Nicaraguans and the reported power play between the White House and Department of Homeland Security on the fate of 57,000 Hondurans, the thought of sending another 50,000 Haitians packing on Thanksgiving Day is to say the least, heart breaking.
We at Black Business Review, therefore join the New York Times editorial, “Let the Haitians Stay,” Senator Marco Rubio special plea in the Miami Herald, “Extend TPS for Haitians in the United States,” and other well-meaning people to say please, Please Renew TPS for Haitians.