Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked outrage when he announced his decision to end provisional residency protection for 60,000 Haitians by 2019 for those who were affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake. Trump’s decision to curtail their stay comes after his administration stated that the “extraordinary conditions” that plagued Haiti “no longer exist.”
In a new interview with Billboard, Wyclef Jean blasted the president’s decision to oust his fellow Haitians from the United States and not renew their temporary protected status.
“I’ve been talking about that TPS for a minute now. I saw it coming. I saw the policies, but what I’m gonna do, I’m definitely gonna say one thing, which I stand by: The country of Haiti right now, we cannot afford to take 50,000 Haitians to go back home right now,” Jean tells Billboard. “It’s almost like you’re sending them back like, ‘Oh, OK, the earthquake is gone.’ You’re sending people back like, ‘OK, let me them send back on a starve mission.’ It’s like you’re sending them back to die. We don’t support that.”
After being pummeled by the brutal effects of the earthquake, thousands of Haitians sought refuge in the United States. Under the temporary protected status, they were shielded from deportations due to natural disasters or armed conflict within their country. In a statement to the Washington Post, Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke said the 18-month deadline will allow Haitians to “arrange their departure” since “significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life.”
According to Jean, Trump bamboozled Haitians during his presidency run, vowing to protect them and now doing the total opposite.
“I think we all need to acknowledge the TPS thing and the promise that Donald Trump made,” Jean says. “If you remember, he was like, ‘I’m going to look out for Haiti. I’m going to look out for [Miami’s] Little Haiti [neighborhood].’ He did the whole movie. So the lookout that we need right now, we need to make sure our people do not get deported back. It’s not going to look good for the island at all.”