Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Hundreds of protesters are rallying Tuesday afternoon in front of President Donald Trump's Florida resort, the Mar-a-Lago, after his administration decided late Monday night to end
immigration protections for almost 59,000 Haitian immigrants.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says
it will permanently terminate Temporary Protected Status, also known as TPS, in July 2019 for thousands of Haitians who fled to the United States after their island was ravaged by an earthquake in 2010. That gives TPS recipients an 18-month period to either return to their homeland or be deported.
Florida has about 44,800 residents under TPS protection living in the state, including almost 33,000 Haitian immigrants, many of whom make up the backbone of Central Florida's tourism industry.
"Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent," writes DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke
. "Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens. Haiti has also demonstrated a commitment to adequately prepare for when the country’s TPS designation is terminated."
TPS recipients with Unite Here and other organizations plan to travel from Orlando and Miami to converge at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday at 11 a.m. to let Trump hear their voices. The president is staying at his resort through the Thanksgiving week.
"Tomorrow hundreds of Unite Here and other union workers and Haitian immigrants from Southern and Central Florida will confront Mar-A-Lago to tell Trump that as his family gathers for the holidays, we will not allow him to quietly destroy 50,000 other families," says Wendi Walsh, a representative with Unite Here in Miami, in a statement. "Unite Here has and always will stand shoulder to shoulder with our immigrant workers, and tomorrow Floridian immigrants will be heard around the country."