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Some Haitians Look at Canada for Help as They Face Loss of Protected Status in the U.S.

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 80403
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-09-07
By: George Rodríguez

Tens of thousands of Haitian nationals in the US are at risk of losing the Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which might force them to return to a country that is in no condition to take them back. The status was initially granted to more than 50,000 Haitians immediately after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010 and has since been extended for successive 18- to 24-month periods. It gives Haitians who were in the US prior to 2011 the right to stay and work in the country, among other benefits. The extensions have responded to successive social and economic blows suffered over the past seven years by Haiti, including a cholera epidemic and a devastating hurricane. About 80% of Haiti’s population of 10 million people are affected by poverty and, on average, survive on less than US$2.00 a day. Since the start of the Trump Administration in January, many US Haitians have begun implementing “Plan B”––fleeing to Canada and into Québec, Canada’s only French-speaking province. The Miami Herald quoted Frantz Benjamin, the Haiti-born chairman of the Montreal City Council, saying that about 6,500 asylum seekers had arrived since January, at least half of them Haitians “prompted by Trump’s hard line on immigration.”

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