MIGRATION – The Haitian effect on the USA

MIGRATION – The Haitian effect on the USA

- in Top Story, World Stories
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The 2010 Haitian earthquake killed around 150,000 people and destroyed much of Port-
au-Prince. Millions were rendered homeless and about half a million people are still living in camps in Haiti. Progress after a disaster has been slower than hoped even though donor communities have provided help in the area of reconstruction. One of the key reasons for the lack of progress is what has been described by many as the snail-like pace of heavily bureaucratized assistance efforts in the chaotic post-catastrophe conditions of weakly
governed states.

Haiti Earthquake
Besides the political instability, endemic poverty the earthquake in 2010 caused about
200,000 Haitians to migrate into the United States and now live even without proper
documents. The United States government granted them “temporary protected status”
which allowed them to work and send money home without fear of deportation until
January 2018. Decades ago, far before the devastating the United States had experienced a
significant increase in the number of immigrants from Haiti then described as the poorest
country in the Western Hemisphere. In 1960 just about 5,000 Haitians lived in the United
States, but more migrants began arriving in larger numbers following the collapse of the
Jean-Claude Duvalier dictatorship in the late 1980s.
As at 2015, the records show that there were 676,000 Haitian immigrants in the United
States, up from 587,000 in 2010. Haitians however account for less than 2 percent of the
U.S. foreign-born population. The pressure this situation is exerting on the government of
the United States has become enormously significant and the Trump administration has
begun monitoring Haiti’s earthquake recovery to determine whether to renew the
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation in 2018.

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In spite of all that, Haiti’s recovery has been hampered by Hurricane Matthew and a severe
cholera outbreak, in addition to political instability and deep poverty and this has resulted
in them forming well-established communities in Florida and New York. In 2011-15, two
states were home to nearly 70 percent of Haitians: Florida and New York. The counties
with the greatest number of Haitians were Miami-Dade County, FL; Broward County, FL;
Kings County, NY, and Palm Beach County, FL. Together, these counties accounted for
about 44 percent of the total Haitian population in the United States.

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