The NAACP is suing the Department of Homeland Security over the Trump administration’s decision to temporarily terminate the protected status of tens of thousands of Haitians living in the U.S.
With the protected status, it allowed for over 46, 000 Haitians who are living in the U.S to be protected from deportation and allowed access to work under the TPS program. The program was designed in the 1990s to protect foreign countries from war, environmental disasters and epidemic. It gives immigrants a safe haven in the U.S until the situations in their native land settle. The Obama Administration announced in 2010 in the aftermath of a horrific earthquake in Haiti that it would grant temporary protected status to Haitians in the U.S legally as long as they were here prior to Jan. 12, 2010. Reports have put numbers of Haitians in the U.S as high as 60,000, according to the Pew Research Center. Eliminating TPS would expose 58,000 Haitians to deportation.
In 2010, the 7.0 earthquake stuck Haiti, with the death toll estimated at over 220,000.
Former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said the “extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist in the country.” Trump administration has announced plans to cancel the status for Haitians in November, stating conditions have improved.
The lawsuit comes two weeks after President Trump reportedly used the term “shi*hole countries” to refer to African nations during a meeting, Trump denied that he insulted Haitians and said, “this was not the language used,” Trump has since denied being a racist.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a lawsuit last Wednesday in the U.S District Court for the District of Maryland. Arguing that intentional discrimination towards immigrants of color is being used, they are seeking for the DHS order to be blocked. “The action by the Department of homeland security to rescind TPS status for Haitian immigrants is clearly racially motivated,” Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, said in a statement.
Jordan Green, president of the FSU Chapter of the NAACP said, “The FSU chapter of NAACP stands in complete support with national branch leadership in suing President Trump. We wish to show complete solidarity with the people of Haiti as they continue to recover from the devastating earth quake in 2010, to our Haitian citizens that contribute to our society, and we would also like to acknowledge the importance of Haitian history to black activism around the world.”
The protection is scheduled to end Sept. 9, 2019.