On the eve of Thanksgiving Day, The Trump administration declared TPS for 59,000 Haitians will end by July 2019. Although many feel a reprieve at the announcement, others wonder how did the administration reach the decision to repatriate Haitian granted TPS after the worst natural disaster that ever to hit Haiti? For the 37,667 displaced persons still living in inadequate make shift camps there is still no recovery. Can we really add 59,000 more for whom no preparation has been made, in a country where the rate of unemployment is over 50% and the inflation rate above 14%?
The state of Haiti leaves so much to be desired and I question anyone who speaks of readiness to receive those granted TPS. International monitoring agencies report that 1.32 million Haitians face severe acute food insecurity; with 11,916 cases of cholera and a reported 30,000 more at risk of infection.
In addition to those in camps since 2010, we had natural events from Sandy to Mathew and the recent Irma and Maria storms. Today, we count 2.1 million affected by Mathew and 1 million are defined as “in need of assistance”.
As I look at recovery, repair and rebuilding, I also look at the projections for recovery and rebuilding for Puerto Rico. Not to mention, Long Island that still has 2000 home owners still recovering from Sandy after 5 years. Can we dismiss the vulnerability of Haiti? Is it even responsible to compound an already fragile situation?
As of October 2017, there is a reported 230,299 returnees from the Dominican Republic without a count of those who have been returned from other countries in particular the United States. When the United States decided to add 59,000 more returnees without a plan of reception and support, we have to ask what is the logic of this policy and whom will it benefit?
Revisiting the TPS policy is the order of the day. A passage way to legal residency is an answer for those who have redefined a life after a seven-year absence from the land they no longer recognize.