Days after the Trump administration announced the end of temporary immigration status for almost 60,000 Haitians living in the United States, protesters are asking one of Florida’s senators to help keep them in the country.
Protesters arrived outside the Doral office of Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday, urging him to create legislation that will allow those who have been allowed in the county under TPS – including those who came from Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
“Sometimes I get scared, but I believe that if I keep on fighting, one day President Trump will hear my voice and Congress will too,” said 10-year-old Ronyde Christinia Ponthieux, a native of Haiti who was at the event.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that conditions have improved enough that the status will only be allowed to continue until 2019.
Advocates for Haitians say a persistent cholera epidemic and damages caused by three hurricanes since 2016 exacerbate the difficulty for returning Haitians.
Days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2010, President Barack Obama granted the 18-month protection status for Haitians in America who would otherwise have to go home. Obama renewed it every time it ran out.
Since taking office, Trump has ended temporary permit programs for Sudan and Nicaragua. He postponed until next July a decision on how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras.
The temporary status covers some 435,000 people from nine countries ravaged by natural disasters or war, who came to the U.S. legally or otherwise.