Haiti is not prepared to receive 60,000 of its citizens who have been living in the United States under protected status since 2010 after an earthquake devastated the island nation, a missionary said. And some Haitian Christians in the U.S. are “terrified” they are being uprooted and forced to return.
The Trump administration announced Monday that the TPS (temporary protected status) designation that the United States granted Haitians in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake will expire on July 22, 2019. The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and killed over 200,000 and displaced over a million people. It struck the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas and the recovery has been extremely slow.
“They have never recovered from the earthquake from what I can see,” said David Quinn, a Catholic missionary from Nebraska who has been serving in Haiti since 2015, in an interview with Catholic News Agency.
“They’ve cleaned up some things here and there, but as far as returning to what they had before? Not even close. Their economy hasn’t improved since the earthquake, it’s been continuing to degrade, and many, many people are without work yet.”
Reginald Lysias, a Haitian and Baptist pastor who has been living and preaching in Northern California, was devastated.
“I didn’t sleep at all last night. I kept asking myself why this was happening,” Lysias said Tuesday in an NBC interview. “What will I do with my home, my car, the church that I lead?” He said he told his 6-year-old daughter the news and she cried the whole night.
Three of his kids were born in the United States — the youngest is 2 — and he and his family are “terrified” by the idea of returning to the impoverished Caribbean country.
SOURCE: Brandon Showalter