The Trump administration’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status of almost 60,000 Haitians has deeply affected many organizations, families and advocates.
Now, a 10-year-old girl is adding her voice to those calling for some mercy. Ronyde Christina Ponthieux of Florida has made a video appeal on behalf of the men, women and children who will be deported and separated from loved ones.
Ponthieux is from Florida where her father is a nurse and he will be one of the many thousands of people deported when the protected status for Haitians ends.
“We are not criminals. Like my parents, like your parents, like you, they are hard working honest people who just want a safe place to raise their families,” the little girl said in her video to Trump. “They have deep roots in their communities; they pay taxes; they contribute to the social, economic and political fabric of this great nation.”
The protected status allowed Haitians to live and work in the U.S. after the 2010 earthquake that rocked the poor nation. Many Haitians who work in the U.S. send money back to loved ones in Haiti, and without that money, many are not sure what will happen to them.
The benefit has been extended until 2019 “to give Haitians time to prepare to return home,” but at that point, they will have to leave on their own or face deportation.
Some Democrats and Republicans are unhappy with Trump’s decision and have vowed to find a legislative solution for Haitians impacted by the policy decision. If the administration does end their protections, many younger Haitians who were born in the United States will be separated from their parents.
Homeland Security is not moved by the pleas from activists and those affected. They say that conditions in Haiti have “improved significantly” while others argue that the economy is not ready for such an influx of people and the move would cause hardship for many families.