BOSTON (CBS) — A rally in Mattapan on Sunday demonstrated support for the local Haitian community as they wait for the Trump administration to decide if they will be deported.
The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program that allows about 5,000 Haitian locally, and 58,000 nationwide to remain in the country. Overall, 320,000 people from ten different countries live in the United States because of TPS.
President Donald Trump has until November 6 to extend the status to citizens of Nicaragua and Honduras. The deadline for Haitians is November. 23.
“I’m a student. I’m graduating in about six months. And getting deported would actually stop me from getting my Bachelor’s degree as an accountant so its a whole lot of things we would be deprived of after we’ve worked so hard to accomplish them,” said Marvens Leconte, who was at the rally.
The program was designed for immigrants from countries where natural disasters, war, or other factors make returning unsafe.
Without the extension, those residents would have to leave by January.
The State Department says conditions in their homeland has improved enough for them to return.
Many at the rally said Haiti is still recovering from an earthquake, a hurricane, and a cholera epidemic.
“It won’t be safe for us to send 58,000 people back to Haiti right now with everything that is going on so we want to make our voices heard to say that those people deserve an extension because it will take time for Haiti to rebuild,” explained Geralde Gabeau, a rally organizer.
The Haitian community is hoping for an 18-month delay.