Haitians living in the U.S. legally under what’s known as Temporary Protected Status by the Trump administration that they must make arrangements to leave the country within 18 months.
But a Connecticut immigration attorney said it makes no sense to end Temporary Protected Status for Haiti – a country vulnerable to natural disasters and one of the poorest nations in the world.
Ten nations are currently granted TPS status. These are countries where environmental disasters, armed conflict, and other conditions make it extraordinarily difficult for residents to live safely.
Bridgeport immigration attorney Alex Meyerovich said the choice of countries is pretty random – but it’s justified in the case of Haiti.
“Haiti is probably the most vulnerable in terms of infrastructure devastation that was brought upon by the natural disaster back in 2011 and then subsequent typhoons, cyclones that added to this misery,” said Meyerovich. “So Haiti is still recovering and will be recovering for years to come. But of of all countries, the Department of Homeland Security decided that Haiti is the best and the safest place to go back.”
TPS holders cannot be deported unless they commit a crime. They can work and drive. Haiti was granted TPS status six years ago, and Meyerovich said in that time, many people have built lives here in Connecticut.
“For example, I have a Haitian TPS holder who’s a professional, graduated, has a master’s degree, works for a large corporation. After years of investing in herself, hoping for the best, she just maintained TPS, timely, now I really don’t know what's going to be in her cards.”
The Center for American Progress estimates that there are 1600 TPS holders in Connecticut from Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras.