The Trump administration will ban immigrants from Haiti — which the president included in his “s–thole countries” comment — from making use of short-term visas given to low-skilled workers, the Department of Homeland Security stated.
The department stated it will remove Haiti, Belize and Samoa from a list of greater than 80 nations whose residents are eligible for H-2A and H-2B visas, which often are granted for seasonal laborers in agriculture and different industries.
DHS cited “high levels of fraud and abuse” by Haitians and their “high rate of overstaying the terms” of their visas in its determination, introduced late Wednesday.
Haitians within the United States on various non-immigrant visas, together with those cited by DHS, had an overstay rate of 39% in 2016, the department stated.
“Haiti has shown no improvement in these areas, and the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, that Haiti’s inclusion on the 2018 H-2A and H-2B lists is no longer in the U.S. interest,” DHS stated.
Belize was dropped over issues about human trafficking, whereas Samoa was excluded as a result of it was not taking back deported nationals.
The move comes after President Trump during a White House meeting on immigration last Thursday reportedly complained in regards to the US accepting immigrants from “s–thole countries,” referring to Haiti, Africa and El Salvador.
Trump has denied making the remarks however acknowledged utilizing “tough” language.
The Trump administration introduced last November will end “temporary protected status” for Haitians allowed entry to the US after the 2010 earthquake devastated the Caribbean island and killed more than 200,000 individuals.
The protections will cease on July 22, 2019.
Sixty-five Haitians entered the United States on H-2A visas, given for agricultural work, within the 2016 fiscal year, Reuters reported, citing DHS information, and 54 Haitians have been granted H-2A visas by the State Department between March and November 2017.
Advocates of the visa program say it permits Haitians to work legally within the US and assists post-earthquake rebuilding efforts.