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Haitian Immigrants Flee To Canada–Who’s Next In Trump’s ‘Merica? (Video)

It’s a good thing we have hospitable neighbors.

Last week, we learned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently informed 50,000 Haitian immigrants living in the United States with temporary protected status (TPS) they have 18 months to find residence elsewhere.

Canada is prepared to accept them.

Haitians who make the trek–many on foot–can expect heated trailers waiting to provide them temporary shelter and showers while Canadian immigration officials process them.

President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year resulted in a substantial increase in “irregular border crossings” into Canada.

Many fleeing attempted to avoid official entry ports through woods, across clearings, and over ditches.

In the past year, Canadian authorities intercepted almost 17,000 official U.S. migrants. Some crossed without detection.

Asylum applications commence as soon as people arrive safely on Canadian soil instead of at border crossings, where they would likely be declined due to the controversial Safe Third Country agreement between the United States and Canada that requires asylum seekers adopt refugee status in the first safe country in which they arrive.

Under this arrangement, Haitians presently living here are considered “safe;” therefore refugee status claims at the Canadian border are usually rejected.

Irregular crossings are highest during winter.

During last year’s coldest months, many suffered frostbite, some resulting in amputations.

Two men from Ghana lost all their fingers after they walked to Manitoba.

Still, Canadian officials believe the stream of refugees will increase.

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TPS Haitians have 27,000 American-born children. 20 percent own homes. They are also vital to our workforce, particularly construction in Florida, as it recovers from Hurricane Irma.

They are the third nationality in the past three months to have their protected status terminated, following Nicaraguans and Sudanese, who are set to lose their protections over the next two years.

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to protect Haitians, indicating support for the temporary protected status program.

At a speech in Miami, Fla.’s “Little Haiti,” Trump told the crowd:

“Whether you vote for me or don’t vote for me, I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion.”

But like virtually ever other promise Trump has made, this proved false.

A few months into his administration, James McCament, then-acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director, urged Haiti’s inclusion in the TPS program be “terminated.”

Then a DHS memo suggested Haitians “prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States.”

In May, then-DHS secretary, now White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, said Haitian TPS beneficiaries “need to start thinking about returning” to Haiti.

A month later, as many as 250 Haitians a day started arriving in Canada, continuing through the summer, either via plane or bus to Plattsburgh, New York, transferring to taxi for the half-hour ride into Quebec, before trekking across the ditch separating the U.S. and Canada.

Image credit: caribbeannewsservice.com

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Written by Ted Millar

Ted Millar is parent, poet, and teacher. His poetry has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also an occasional contributor to Liberal Nation Rising.