The Biden administration has this month announced the issuance of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Ukrainians as well as Afghans living in the United States.
That means that 75,100 Ukrainians and approximately 75,000 Afghans living in the U.S. are now eligible to apply for TPS under the new designations.
For Ukrainians, the TPS designation applies to any Ukrainian that was present in the U.S. on or before March 1, 2022, while for Afghans, the TPS designation applies to individuals already residing in the U.S. as of March 15, 2022. For both countries, TPS protections are valid for 18 months.
Those who are approved and granted TPS will be protected from deportation and returning to a country that is not safe as well as be allowed to continue to work, pay taxes and raise their families in the U.S.
It’s a great gesture given the terror of war on Ukraine by Russia and the terror, violence and uncertainty in both countries currently.
At the same time, the Biden administration has expelled or deported more than 20,000 Black people to Haiti between Jan. 1, 2021, and Feb. 26, 2022, according to data collected by the International Organization for Migration.
While Haiti may not be under siege from a foreign invasion, it is enduring what can only be described as a war within as the gangs are the “Taliban of Haiti,” waging killings and kidnappings through control of strategic areas of the country.
“It is unconscionable that any government would send people to Haiti while it experiences such a deterioration in security and a heightened risk to everyone’s life and physical integrity,” said César Muñoz, senior Americas researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW). “No government should return people to Haiti. And the United States, which accounts for the vast majority of returns, should end the unnecessary and illegitimate use of a public health regulation for abusive expulsions of Haitians.”
HRW also points out that given the security conditions in Haiti, civil society groups and organizations assisting returnees have expressed concern that people expelled or deported to Haiti are at risk of kidnapping and extortion by criminal gangs, who may believe returnees have money for travel or relatives abroad who can pay ransoms. Further, there is currently no system in place to track and support returnees, including those who may not have lived there for years and have no relatives there.
Armed conflict and violence are also rife in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, as well as in the Cameroon, Nepal, Lebanon, Ethiopia and Mauritania.
But instead, the Biden administration has been quick to send immigrants back to countries where their lives could be snuffed out in an instant.
Many more are being held like criminals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities for months.
So, what’s the difference? It’s hard not to see discrimination written all over this or to view the issue as white vs. Black. After all, there are many Eastern Europeans living in the U.S. without legal status, but you never hear of them being rounded up and deported.
Donald Trump at least told us what he felt and did as he said. Sadly, what we have now is a president and Black, Asian and Caribbean American veep and immigration czar, who said one thing when they needed the Haitian, Black and immigrant vote, but now are viciously showing us through their actions how they really feel.
How shameful, how biased, and how deceitful!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News.