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Trump Administration Ends Important Protections for Haitian Immigrants

President Donald Trump announced that Haitians will no longer be eligible to receive temporary visas for agricultural work in the United States under the H-2A program.

The decision came shortly after the president made hateful comments in which he expressed his desire to restrict immigration and turn away refugees from Haiti and countries in Africa, which he referred to as “shithole countries.” Haiti was added to the list of countries eligible to receive temporary work visas in 2012, two years after a devastating earthquake struck the country that killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians.

In November 2017, President Trump announced that he would terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 Haitians. TPS is a program through which people affected by humanitarian crises such as wars and natural disasters can be granted permission to enter the United States.

On January 25, the U.S. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed suit against the government agency in charge of the program. The NAACP is asking the judge to enjoin the government’s decision, arguing that it was “irrational and discriminatory” and was motivated by the president’s contempt against people of color. The Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Maryland will hear the case soon.