STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32078

Reported Deaths: 2004
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9268539
Lake3320168
Cass15826
Allen130966
St. Joseph120534
Hendricks113067
Hamilton111592
Johnson1086104
Elkhart105728
Madison58258
Porter49021
Bartholomew48133
Clark46138
LaPorte41522
Tippecanoe3753
Jackson3671
Howard36519
Delaware35735
Hancock32127
Shelby31521
Floyd31438
Boone28835
Morgan26224
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery23117
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19121
Noble18921
Harrison18721
Dubois1852
Greene16724
Warrick16426
Dearborn16421
Henry1619
Monroe16011
Vigo1477
Lawrence14423
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Kosciusko941
Carroll922
Daviess8216
Steuben802
Marshall761
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne715
Fayette684
LaGrange602
Jasper581
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay440
Randolph433
Jefferson411
Whitley402
Pulaski390
Clay391
Owen341
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
DeKalb311
Perry260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton251
Benton250
Wells240
Crawford230
Blackford211
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Spencer171
Posey170
Parke170
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0154

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 113195

Reported Deaths: 4923
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook738193354
Lake7767250
DuPage7290340
Kane5866153
Will5238258
Winnebago199351
McHenry145268
St. Clair101773
Kankakee80242
Kendall72719
Rock Island63922
Champaign5697
Madison54056
Boone40716
Sangamon33226
DeKalb3313
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21210
Stephenson1952
Ogle1922
Macon18819
Peoria1858
Clinton17816
Out of IL1771
Union1417
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13310
Iroquois1314
Unassigned1200
Coles1159
Warren1140
Jefferson10116
Knox950
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee761
Tazewell683
Cass670
Henry670
Williamson541
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin421
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas280
Jo Daviess270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Mercer150
Carroll132
Franklin120
Piatt120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Showers Likely
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events