Trump's Haitian Work Visa Ban Could Cripple Mar-a-Lago

The Department of Homeland Security will stop allowing Haitians to get temporary agricultural and seasonal visas- a move that comes amid concerns about the Trump administration's feelings toward immigrants of that country and broader restrictions
Days After 'Shithole' Controversy, Trump Administration Bans Haiti From Applying for Low-Skilled Work Visa
Author

20 January, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given notice that Haitians, as well as nationals from Belize and the South Pacific nation of Samoa, are no longer eligible for the H2A and H2B visas.

The visa decision follows recent moves by Trump's DHS to end protections for Haitians, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans in the federal government's Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which allows foreigners impacted by armed conflicts or natural disasters to legally live and work in the United States.

Supporters of the visas say they gave Haitians a rare opportunity to work legally in the United States, contribute to the USA economy and help fund the recovery of Haiti after a major natural disaster in 2010, which killed more than 200,000 people.

Samoa was removed because it does not take back its deported nationals from the US and Haiti was removed due to "extremely high rates of refusal", "high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying" their visas once they expire.

Haitian community leaders say thousands of Haitian immigrants living in the US legally will face employment and travel hurdles because President Donald Trump's administration has delayed the process of re-registering those with temporary protected status.

Approximately 80 countries are eligible for the temporary worker permits, with the list being published every year. Those visas are given out for seasonal or temporary jobs.

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The controversial comment came during a heated discussion on the future of immigration policy between Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the Oval Office, where Trump questioned why the USA would continue to take in immigrants from poor countries.

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Trump praised Haitians.

Advocates of the program say the Trump administration has taken away a lifeline for struggling residents of the island nation.

'And they're very hard-working people'.

'The post-earthquake reconstruction efforts ignored migration and remittances entirely, ' said Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development who was heavily involved in the efforts to allow Haitian workers to come to the United States.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released details about the next steps for about 60,000 Haitians to renew immigration benefits under a program the Trump administration is ending next year. Within a three-month period, they went through 300 people for eight positions, he said.


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