In an opinion piece for Boston-based NPR station WBUR, Partners In Health Co-founder Ophelia Dahl spoke about her experience working alongside Haitian colleagues in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, and of the remarkable resiliency of Haitians who daily confront disasters—both manmade and natural.
“The perseverance and dignity of Haiti’s people, in the face of unceasing racism, injustice and violence, has strengthened many leaders in the U.S.’s own battles for justice and equity,” Dahl wrote.
Dahl’s comments aired just days after the nation celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and last Friday’s eight-year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. They also were a response to disparaging comments U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly made a week ago, regarding Haiti and African nations.
The Trump administration announced in November that it was cancelling the Temporary Protected Status designation for Haitians, effectively informing 59,000 immigrants from the Caribbean nation that they must return to their country or face deportation.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to announce today how Haitian TPS holders, including those with work permits set to expire within days, can apply to renew that special status through July 22, 2019, the termination date set by the agency.