MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Farah Larrieux came to the United States more than a decade ago from Haiti.
Seven years ago she was granted Temporary Protected Status, known as TPS, because of the devastating earthquake. Now that status could be allowed to expire for all Haitians.
“It’s fear, it’s panic,” said Larrieux. “There’s a lot of people they’re already losing their job, there’s people they don’t go out because there’s fear of deportation.”
Nearly 4,000 Haitians have fled to the Canadian border this month alone because they’re afraid their temporary status will expire.
Emmanuel Dubourg is a Haitian-born member of Canada’s parliament. The number of people entering irregularly, as Canadians call it, has gotten so big he’s in Miami to meet with Haitian leaders and TPS holders.
He’s explaining the border is not wide open, that immigrants must follow the rules or face consequences.
“If we deport them, the door is completely closed even for them or their family for next time,” said Dubourg.
Randolph McGrorty is with Catholic legal services. He says even though the quake hit in 2010, Haiti still is not ready to accept all those who migrated to the U.S.
“Seven years is not sufficient time to address the aftermath of the largest most devastating natural disaster in modern history,” said McGrorty.
Unless it’s extended, temporary protected status for Haitian living the United States expires January 23rd.
TPS holders should know by mid-November if their status will be extended.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s office said he’s lobbying on Haitian’s behalf. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking the Trump Administration to extend TPS for Haitian until July.