Panelists for "Tales from the Borderlands." Photo Credit: Naisha Jozef
Panelists for “Tales from the Borderlands.” Photo Credit: Naisha Jozef

By Naeisha Rose

The only memory Maria’s son has of Haiti is that of the earthquake and being stuck under the rubble.

She came to the United States with her then four-year-old son in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake under Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“He was stuck under the rubble at his school for five hours,” said Maria, whose real name is not being used to protect her identity. “That is his only memory of Haiti and he tells me all the time that ‘this is his home.'”

Maria is one of tens of thousands of Haitian TPS recipients who have been waiting anxiously to see what their fate holds for them following the Trump Administration’s decision back in November 2017 to eliminate TPS for Haitians, effective July 22, 2019.

“This is a very important activity for us as part of our advocacy,” said Giles Charleston, a board member of the Association of Haitian Professionals who attended a TPS summit held at the University of the District Columbia on Feb. 9. During the summit, immigration issues related to TPS, DACA and migrants stuck on the U.S. / Mexico border were discussed.

“The issue, especially with TPS is worthwhile for us to reflect on,” he said.

TPS is a legal designation that allows nationals from other countries to live, work and go to school in the U.S. as they escape political strife, war or natural disasters, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


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Naeisha Rose

Naeisha Rose is a multimedia journalist and graduate of the Arts & Culture and Broadcast programs at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has experience working on independent short films, short...