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The countdown for Haitians with Temporary Protected Status has started

By Jacqueline Charles

BELLADÈRE, Haiti

In the two years since his deportation from the neighboring Dominican Republic, Odnell Ceant has wallowed in despair. He’s unable to find work. He’s facing eviction and his children don’t always have food to eat.

“I never thought Haiti was difficult like this,” said Ceant, 35, his eyes welling with tears as he reflected on his desperate plight. “Once you’re working, you aren’t hungry. Once you have a job, you have hope. As long as you don’t have work, you can never have a plan for your life.”

Four years after the Dominican Republic began cracking down on undocumented Haitian workers following a decision by one of its courts to retroactively strip Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship, tens of thousands of Haitians like Ceant have ended up in Haiti after being expelled or forced to flee. Their arrival, mostly ignored by Haitian authorities, has burdened humanitarian organizations that have struggled to help amid deep budget cuts and indifference.

Now the prospect that thousands of Haitians temporarily living in the United States could soon find themselves in a similar situation should the Trump administration end their special immigration status, worries humanitarians and U.S.-based activists, who have watched with trepidation at the Haitian government’s inability to absorb the influx from the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Haitian migrants living life on the border

Haitian migrants fleeing tightened immigration rules in the Dominican Republic take refuge along the border in migrant camps made of flimsy tents and very little access to basic daily necessities. Video by Jacqueline Charles / Miami Herald staff

Read full story on Miami Herald
Aug 5, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated September 20, 2017 at 12:27 AM
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