The Trump Administration plans to end the humanitarian program that allowed 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States following the devastating earthquake in 2010, officials at Homeland Security revealed.
The termination of this program means Haitians living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status must leave by July 2019 or face deportation, the New York Times reports.
The decision follows a similar decision last month that ended protections for 2,500 Nicaraguans.
The Department of Homeland security released a statement declaring the office made the decision after meeting with Haitians government officials and Haitian communities in America. “Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent. 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.”
Second to the people of El Salvador, Haitians are the second largest group of people with temporary status in the United States. The administration will decide next month whether it will rescind or renew protections for those Salvadorans.
After the earthquake in January 2010 killed thousands and displaced more than one million people, the United States offered the protection to Haitians who entered the United States within a year after the natural disaster. The country of Haiti is still struggling to repair from the earthquake more than seven years later.
About 30,000 children have been born to Haitians in the United States with protected status since 2010. While these children are American citizens, their parents may have to decide whether to take their children back to Haiti, leave them with relatives in the United States or remain in the country illegally and risk deportation.