U.S. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, daughter of Jamaican immigrants and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Immigration Working Group; Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member; and Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, CBC chairman, declared in a joint statement last month that they were outraged by the decision that forces the Haitian immigrants to return home starting July 2019.
They noted that the massive earthquake in the French-speaking Caribbean country killed more than 300,000 people in 2010, disrupted the function of civil society, displaced families from their homes, closed schools and social service agencies, created instability in the government and undermined the economy.
The black congressional leaders said those conditions were exacerbated by the cholera epidemic, subsequent hurricanes and food insecurity crisis, “which continues to this day.”
The lawmakers said while campaigning in Miami, then-candidate Trump called Haitian Americans “hard-working, creative and industrious, and promised to be their ‘greatest champion.’ Today, Donald Trump broke that promise.
“By ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, the Trump Administration has put the lives of more than 50,000 people at risk,” the statement by Clarke, Conyers and Richmond noted, calling the decision a “low point for this administration” that “will leave an indelible mark further tarnishing his (Trump’s) legacy.”
New York State Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte, daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that she was “equally saddened and angered” by the decision.
“The fight must continue to address these inhumane and unconstitutional decisions,” she added.
New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, son of Grenadian immigrants who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said he was “appalled to hear the administration’s decision, but I was not shocked.”
“This kind of callous, deliberate disregard for the well-being of hard-working immigrants, this disdain for our fellow human beings, is what we’ve come to expect from Donald Trump,” he told CMC.