'Fear of immigrants' behind end of protection for Haitians, Md. pastor believes

Protesters marched outside of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago County Club, pleading for the President and Congress to help tens of thousands of Haitians.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Protesters marched outside of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago County Club Tuesday pleading for the President and Congress to help tens of thousands of Haitians.

 

On Monday, the Trump Administration announced the end to temporary protected residency that could send nearly 60,000 Haitians back to the poverty-stricken island.


At the D.C. Embassy of Haiti, things were quiet outside. Inside, you could hear the stress and frustration in their employees' voices.

 

A Spokesperson told WUSA 9 the Ambassador and staff did not know this decision was coming down on Monday. 

 

A Rockville Haitian Pastor told WUSA9 ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) hits about half of his some 30-member congregation.

 

When WUSA9 asked him why he thought this decision was made, Dr. Rodney Charitable answered, “It's a fear of immigrants."

The Department of Homeland Security said it's because "extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist," according to their website.

By ending TPS, they're basically telling nearly 60-thousand Haitians you have a little less than a year in-a-half (18 months) to leave the U.S. on your own.

 

With TPS, you can work and study without the fear of being deported. The U.S. added Haiti to the TPS list after a 2010 earthquake killed in the tens of thousands – and the country got hit again last year when Hurricane Matthew created a humanitarian crisis.


Outside of Mar-a-largo, one female protester said, “I lost everything I have in Haiti. My mom, my family, my dad – everybody they are living under the tents so I'm here. The TPS helped me to work."

The thousands of Haitians impacted by this decision reportedly have kids, (some U.S.-born), own homes, have businesses and college degrees. The Rockville Pastor says if they go back, “Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and given the condition, there are no jobs."

 

The CIA also lists Haiti as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


We asked on Facebook and Twitter pages you think: Marcos Gadson wrote on Facebook, “Heartless… But this is who we are today as a nation.”

Blaine tweeted, “It's a temporary program – hence the use of the term temporary in the name. There should be no misunderstanding that this is some permanent citizenship deal. The fact it's even an issue is astounding.”


Haitians are reportedly among more than 300,000 foreigners living here under TPS. Our editorial partner, the Washington Post, says the majority of the TPS recipients arrived illegally and are from Central America.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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