Date: January 12th, 2018 4:31 PM
Author: '''''""'''' ( )
Haiti’s been covered by Temporary Protected Status since shortly after the 2010 earthquake that killed as many as 316,000 people and displaced 1.5 million more. Seven years later, the country’s recovery has been slowed by a cholera epidemic and a 2016 hurricane that destroyed much of the country’s Southern peninsula.
As of 2015, remittances sent home from the US to Haiti accounted for 25 percent of the country’s total GDP, making it the most remittance-dependent country in the Western Hemisphere.
A cholera epidemic, which followed the earthquake, killed another 9,000 people and has only recently been brought under control. In the meantime, in October 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought another major blow, destroying most of the homes on the Southern part of the island.
Despite the immense poverty, lack of infrastructure, and limited healthcare, the Trump administration has concluded that Haiti is prepared to reintegrate tens of thousands of citizens now living and working in the United States. With more than 50,000 Haitians still living in temporary and unstable conditions within their own country and 40 percent of the population unemployed, the decision to end TPS seems premature at best.
There appears to be no upside in this decision for anybody. Haitians, who on average have lived in the US for 13 years, and their 27,000 US-born children are faced with unbearable choices: Take their children to Haiti, where there is limited economic opportunity and serious health and safety risks, or leave their children behind and break up their families.