Thousands of Hudson Valley Haitians could face deportation

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

A recent letter sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson advising the Department of Homeland Security to take away protections given to those with temporary protection status (TPS) has thousands of Haitian immigrants worried about deportation. 

The TPS program stops people from being deported when there are dangerous conditions in their native countries caused by natural disasters or conflict.

Secretary Tillerson says the conditions previously granting Haitians and Central Americans with TPS no longer apply. 

Dr. Carol Roye, from the group Promoting Health in Haiti, called the secretary's letter "unbelievably cruel." She has been helping to provide medical services for people living on the island nation since it was struck by a massive earthquake in 2010. 

Dr. Roye says ending TPS would be devastating to so many.

"The situation in Haiti has not improved to such an extent that these people can go back and find work and do what they're doing here. It's just not possible," says Dr. Roye. 

Some government officials say ending TPS could be a good thing for people returning to their native countries because they will be bringing a new set of job skills and democratic values.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce Monday its plan for Hondurans and Nicaraguans. Their TPS expires in January. 

The agency has until Nov. 23 to state its plans for Haitians.
 

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