Commentary: WASHINGTON —NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement in reaction to the Trump administration’s decision to shatter the families of as many as 59,000 Haitians living in the US by ending Temporary Protective Status (TPS) granted to Haitians who fled multiple natural disasters and a cholera epidemic:
“Cruel and spiteful are the only words to describe what the Trump administration plans to do to Haitian families, including thousands of our students, in yet another instance on the long list of proposals targeting communities of color that have emerged from this White House. As we prepare to give thanks in the tradition of those who came to our county seeking opportunity and prosperity, Donald Trump has chosen to celebrate by evicting thousands of families who have no place to go with their home country still in humanitarian crisis. Congress must act to provide a permanent solution for Haitians and other TPS holders by passing one of the numerous existing bills that enjoy bipartisan support and would provide stability for these families.”
In total, 300,000 individuals from Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador reside in the United States under Temporary Protective Status. They live and work in the United States legally, pay taxes and contribute to our communities and economy. Forcing the return of Haitian TPS recipients would disrupt the fragile recovery in Haiti, exacerbate the food, housing, and public health crises, and potentially destabilize the new Government.
The fate of hundreds of thousands of TPS beneficiaries – including 275,000 children – lies in the hands of the Trump administration as they await a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make a decision about lifting their protected status. NEA adamantly opposes ending TPS protection for beneficiaries from other countries, including Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, in the upcoming months.
For more information on NEA’s work on TPS, immigration, and other social justice initiatives, visit NEAedjustice.org.