The US has canceled a program that protected over 50,000 Haitian immigrants from deportation. Immigrants from the island nation in the Caribbean were given Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 2010, following an earthquake that devastated the country. But, according to the Trump administration, those nationals can now safely go home because conditions have since improved.
The status will come to an end in July 2019, meaning that Haitians have 18 months to either go back to their home nation or seek other legal means by which they can become legal immigrants in the US. The Department of Homeland Security says that the 2010 earthquake resulted in extraordinary, but also temporary, conditions that no longer apply.
The statement went on to note that Haiti is now capable of receiving its standard number of returning citizens, with significant steps made to improve the quality and stability of life in the country. But, campaigners claim that the Trump administration is unfairly singling out the vulnerable as part of its anti-immigration stance, with House Democrat Leader, Nancy Pelosi, claiming that the move will only increase suffering in Haiti.
The decision to end the Temporary Protected Status for Haitians follows a similar decision to do this for 5000 Nicaraguans living in the US under the same status. A decision on the status of immigrants from El Salvador, which received TPS following an earthquake back in 2001, is expected in January 2018.