Trump admin blocks Haitians from temporary visas

The Department of Homeland Security will stop allowing Haitians to get temporary agricultural and seasonal visas -- a...

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 12:03 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 12:03 PM

The Department of Homeland Security will stop allowing Haitians to get temporary agricultural and seasonal visas -- a move that comes amid concerns about the Trump administration's feelings toward immigrants of that country and broader restrictions on legal immigration.

The announcement to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday will remove Haiti from a list of countries that are eligible for the visas, called the H-2A agricultural and the H-2B non-agricultural temporary permits.

DHS already ended Temporary Protected Status for Haiti

Only roughly 80 countries are eligible for the temporary worker programs

Roughly 80 countries are eligible for the temporary worker programs, and the list is published every year. While it's unusual, countries are removed from the list at times. Haiti is being removed along with Belize and Samoa.

The decision to exclude Haiti may raise questions because it comes in the wake of the administration's decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitians who have been living and working legally in the US since the country's devastating earthquake in 2010.

And it comes after President Donald Trump's disparaging remarks last week regarding immigrants of African nations and Haiti became public.

In its notice, DHS justifies the decision for each country. Belize is being excluded because it is included by the US on the list of countries that do not meet standards on human trafficking and are not making efforts to do so, the notice said. Samoa was removed because it does not take back its deported nationals from the US, an issue referred to as recalcitrant countries.

Haiti's justification, though, cites "extremely high rates of refusal," "high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying" their visas when they end. It did not provide any statistics or further evidence.

"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," the notice says.

Haiti does have a high rate of visa overstays, when immigrants continue to live in the US illegally beyond their work authorization, according to the most recent Entry/Exit Overstay Report from DHS. The country's nationals had a suspected overstay rate of just over 39% out of roughly 1,500 immigrants in 2016 in the temporary worker category.

Only a few hundred Haitians work specifically under the H-2 category in the US each year.

That rate is higher than other countries on the list of acceptable H-2 countries, though others have high rates as well, including Guatemala at over 28%, the Philippines at nearly 29%, Ethiopia at nearly 20% and Papua New Guinea at 20%. Other countries with higher rates were already not on the list.

Michael Clemens, a senior fellow who studies the economics of migration at the Center for Global Development, which advocates policies to reduce global poverty, said the H-2 visas were virtually the only legal way for Haitians to work in the US besides Temporary Protected Status, and taking them away could drive illegal migration.

Clemens also said that based on his research on the profit for businesses on products and services the Haitian temporary workers produce, he estimates each worker contributes $4,000 to the US economy per month, and $3,000 to the Haitian economy per month.

Clemens added that while he has no evidence that Trump's remarks and the visa move are linked, the timing is troubling.

"The administration has made it clear that it sees no benefit from Haitian immigrants in the US, and that's incorrect. There has been a tremendous benefit from Haitian migrants to the US, including on this particular visa," Clemens said. "No doubt that it's a pile-on."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
Madison18748409
Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
Monroe15263200
LaPorte15173250
Delaware15073263
Howard14748290
Kosciusko12348148
Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
Wabash5332104
Jasper532079
Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
Scott438974
Greene425196
Wells424888
Clay423360
White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
LaGrange359078
Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
Pike229243
Tipton228159
Blackford193142
Pulaski183757
Crawford159823
Newton158348
Benton150617
Brown146747
Martin138719
Switzerland135011
Warren121116
Union107016
Ohio84613
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1515838

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1640131696
Cuyahoga1460532459
Hamilton1052061431
Montgomery738951279
Summit616491111
Lucas56212917
Butler51500718
Stark465771064
Lorain35525585
Warren32769377
Mahoning30719693
Clermont28151330
Lake26979448
Delaware24159164
Licking23882294
Trumbull22825561
Fairfield22354247
Greene22289326
Medina22002313
Clark19812354
Richland18559292
Portage17924252
Wood17427224
Allen15967279
Miami15524306
Muskingum14789185
Columbiana14017274
Wayne13755271
Tuscarawas12692311
Marion11957180
Scioto11452162
Pickaway11356142
Erie10867184
Ross10555203
Lawrence9746153
Ashtabula9701204
Hancock9687155
Belmont9287209
Geauga8933157
Jefferson8547199
Huron8380143
Union818859
Washington8085144
Sandusky7807151
Athens776179
Knox7705144
Darke7643158
Seneca7343145
Ashland6945130
Auglaize678699
Shelby6516115
Brown635291
Crawford6261130
Defiance6192105
Mercer614593
Fulton601296
Highland599399
Madison593978
Guernsey589771
Logan587996
Clinton582993
Preble5710125
Putnam5323110
Williams528088
Perry517363
Champaign511573
Jackson508573
Ottawa486286
Coshocton482283
Morrow458158
Pike433467
Fayette428263
Hardin418080
Gallia417267
Adams416695
Van Wert370882
Henry364072
Holmes3624125
Hocking356482
Wyandot322962
Carroll301765
Paulding279447
Meigs264651
Monroe215554
Noble199747
Morgan193933
Harrison181446
Vinton165525
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 33°
Huntington
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Van Wert
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 49°
Showers on tap for Sunday with the chance of a few thunderstorms.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events