Rule tightening follows end to humanitarian program that allowed tens of thousands of Haitians to live and work in U.S.
The Trump administration is further tightening immigration rules for Haitians, as it plans to remove the country from a program for temporary seasonal jobs, weeks after ending a humanitarian program that allowed tens of thousands of others to live and work in the U.S.
According to a notice that was set to be officially published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Haiti is being removed from a list of countries approved for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs as its participation “is no longer in the U.S. interest.” The programs permit certain foreigners to take temporary seasonal jobs in agriculture and other industries in the U.S., including tourism.
Haitians represent just a fraction of foreigners participating in temporary worker programs. During the 2016 budget year, 883 temporary workers and their relatives were admitted to the U.S., according to government data. During that same 12 months, more than 218,000 such visas were issued to people from around the world.
The visa change is the latest move by the Trump administration to curb Haitian immigration to the U.S. and comes days after President Donald Trump last week, during a bipartisan immigration meeting at the White House, questioned the need to extend legal immigrant status to Haitians.
Late last year, then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced the end of a humanitarian program that let roughly 50,000 Haitians live and work in the U.S. in the wake of the deadly 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of the country. They were given until July 2019 to either leave or apply for another immigration status.
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