Oxfam condemns the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, and deport the more than 50,000 Haitians who currently live in the United States with that status. These vulnerable people will be forcibly returned to a country not yet recovered from the devastating 2010 earthquake, and the massive hurricanes and cholera epidemics that followed. Haiti is in no condition right now to accept deportees.
“Deciding to end TPS for Haiti is heartless and inhumane. This decision will rip apart families who have been living in the United States for almost a decade, sending them back to a country that is still facing a humanitarian crisis and is unable to provide safe refuge for deportees. It is simply unacceptable that the United States will be unnecessarily sending Haitians to live in treacherous conditions. We are turning our backs on our country’s proud legacy of being a beacon of hope for the vulnerable,” said Lia Lindsey, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor.
In Haiti, there are still 38,000 people internally displaced by the 2010 earthquake and cholera remains a severe problem, with nearly 11,000 new cases and 100 deaths this year alone. Hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition impacts millions of Haitian families across the country; meanwhile hurricanes earlier this year caused damage to crops and livestock. “These ongoing humanitarian issues are examples of conditions that make forced return of thousands of people untenable and cruel,” continued Ms. Lindsey.
“TPS holders are a part of America’s multicultural social fabric, an essential component of our communities and our country,” said Ms. Lindsey. “The beneficiaries of this program have lived in the US on average for 20 years, have had children, built businesses, and bought homes. They are taxpayers and contribute Social Security and Medicaid. But now, under the Trump administration, they are facing deportation to countries that are not safe or prepared for their return.”
Oxfam does not support the lifting of TPS from any of the 10 countries with that designation. All 10 countries are still facing tremendous natural and/or manmade disasters that make conditions unsafe for returnees. This program allows people to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation because the conditions do not exist for them to safely return to their countries. We are urging Congress to pass legislation that puts all TPS holders on a permanent path towards citizenship.