Temporary Protected Status (or, “TPS”) is a designation given by the Department of Homeland Security when a country’s living conditions have become too dangerous due to natural disasters or civil strife. An individual with TPS is authorized to live and work legally in the U.S., and is protected from deportation. Recently, President Trump announced he would not renew TPS for over 50,000 Haitian nationals, most of whom obtained the status after an earthquake devastated their country nearly a decade ago.

In places like Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, Haitian immigrants are the backbone of the hospitality industry. Disney’s Orlando park alone would stand to lose 500 of its employees if Haitian TPS were to expire.

That’s why UNITE HERE, the union for hospitality workers, has led a strong push on the Trump administration for a full renewal to prevent the deportation of over 50,000 Haitian immigrants who’ve developed roots working in this country.

After protests in Florida and beyond, DHS Secretary John Kelly announced on May 22nd a limited 6-month extension of TPS for Haiti – with a warning for recipients to get their affairs in order.

But we refuse to settle.

Haitian immigrants should not be forced to choose between living in the shadows or going back to a country still recovering from mass devastation. Removing protected status for Haitians also sets a frightening precedent, as Haiti is among 12 countries that currently have TPS designation, all set to expire in the coming months for an estimated 300,000 recipients.

“Forcing refugees from a devastated country to live on edge for 6 months is unacceptable. These hardworking, tax-paying refugees support Central Florida’s economy and they deserve long-term certainty.  We’ll take these 6 months to fight for a long-term solution.”   — UNITE HERE Local 737 President, Jeremy Cruz-Haicken

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