Homeland Security ends program allowing Haitians to seek work visas in US

People walk together along the road leading to the Mar-a Lago resort where President Donald Trump spent the last few days as they condemn President Trumps reported statement about immigrants from Haiti and to ask that he apologize to them

Following reports that President Donald Trump referred to several countries, including Haiti, as "shitholes" (reports the president partially denied), on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has now barred people from the Caribbean country from applying for low-skilled working visas. Other than Haiti, Samoa and Belize were also removed from the list of countries eligible to apply for H-2A and H-2B visas, which are provided to seasonal workers in agriculture and other industries. The announcement is scheduled to be published by the Federal Register on Thursday, exactly a week after U.S. President Donald Trump referred to African nations and Haiti as "shithole" countries during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform. Haiti had been included in that list since 2012, after a successful lobbying campaign by humanitarian groups and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to make Haiti eligible for short-term worker visas that could help Haitians recover from the catastrophic 2010 natural disaster.

In a regulatory filing, DHS cited "high levels of fraud and abuse" from Haitians who use the program as well as a "high rate of overstaying the terms" from the visa recipients.

And Samoa is now listed as "at risk of non-compliance" because it has not made progress in accepting back nationals ordered removed from the U.S.

"I love the people". DHS added Haitians who entered on H-2B visas were too low to record.

However, though Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Trump used the slur, Republican lawmakers, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, said they could not recall the word being used. "And they're very hard-working people". Without H-2A and H-2B visas, there are few legal avenues for most Haitians to go to the United States.

The author of the study, Michael Clemens, said, "The administration has made it clear that it sees no benefit from Haitian immigrants in the USA, and that's incorrect". "We saw it as an opportunity to help Haiti rebuild after the natural disaster". On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced that Haiti will be barred from applying for low-skilled working visas.

Jon Hegeman, who operates a commercial greenhouse in Alabama, brought in eightHaitian H-2A workers in 2015 through the consultancy, and nine workers in 2016. Within a three-month period, they went through 300 people for eight positions, he said.

"These guys were awesome".

He said he would escort his workers to the airport in order to make sure they left the United States when their visas ran out. There has been a tremendous benefit from Haitian migrants to the USA, including on this particular visa. It also comes in the wake of the Trump administration's decision to end Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for about 50,000 Haitians in July 2019.

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