MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The nearly 60,000 Haitians who have called the U.S. home since a powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation will see their special deportation protection come to an end.
The Trump administration announced Monday it’s ending the Temporary Protected Status come July 22, 2019.
The decision has immigration advocates up in arms.
“Temporary Protected Status is something that is given on an 18-month period, and then it’s determined: has the country recovered yet?” said Steven Forester.
Forester, who’s worked on Haitian immigration issues for decades, said the answer is no.
But the Homeland Security Department said conditions in Haiti have improved significantly.
The department said TPS benefits are being extended one last time to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.
“This decision is wrong on every count. It’s not a gray matter because of the conditions in Haiti. Not the poverty – cholera, Hurricane Matthew, the devastation brought by the earthquake,” Forester said.
When asked if the U.S. will help Haitians get back, officials said there will be continued assistance in making sure Haiti is a safe place.
The senior officials said that individuals with children who are U.S. citizens will have to make the decisions for their families based on their status. They added that some can apply for changes in their status and get benefits.
Florida lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were quick to weigh in on the administration’s decision.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Department of Homeland Security ended the protected immigration status of thousands of Central Americans.