Photo credit: Peg Huner
Photo credit: Peg Huner

By Danielle Hyams

Rose Michelle Tilus, 35, has done everything right. She studied hard and became a registered nurse. She serves the disadvantaged in her community at a local health center while also taking classes to become a family nurse practitioner. But because she is a Haitian Temporary Protective Status (TPS) holder, her status in the United States – where she has lived for more than half of her life – is uncertain.

“It’s been like a nightmare,” Tilus said of the changes in TPS for Haitians. “Yes, I knew that at some point this protection I had could end, but I didn’t expect it to be so sudden or so soon. So it was like a roller coaster, I felt like I was going down and there was no stopping it. You get sad, you get hurt, you get hopeless.”

Yet, Haitian TPS holders who have been living in a state of fear and uncertainty since President Donald Trump took office in 2016 finally have a reason to be hopeful. With the passage of the American Dream and Promise Act by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on June 5, a pathway to permanent residency is slowly becoming a reality. The bill would benefit not just those with TPS, but also those eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and people with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). In total it could impact more than 2.5 million people.


Sign in to your account. Haitian Times’ Subscription, Billed Monthly Haitian Times’ Subscription, Billed Yearly One month access