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Thread: Court ruling knocks as many as 43,000 in Florida off a path to citizenship

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  1. #1
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016

    Court ruling knocks as many as 43,000 in Florida off a path to citizenship

    Court ruling knocks as many as 43,000 in Florida off a path to citizenship

    Juan Carlos Chavez, Tampa Bay Times
    Thu, June 17, 2021, 12:17 PM

    TAMPA — Jorge and Delmy Garcia have lived more than three decades in the United States.

    Their three children were born and raised here and they have always supported themselves, working outside their home straight through the coronavirus pandemic.

    They came illegally from Honduras in 1989, but after a decade living in the shadows, they gained Temporary Protected Status — a federal designation for immigrants who seek to escape the ravages of war or natural disaster in a dozen countries across Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean.

    The Garcias have always hoped to turn that status permanent someday, with a green card and eventually citizenship.

    But those hopes were dashed earlier this month when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the estimated 411,000 people who enjoy temporary status are ineligible to take those next steps.

    “It is very sad news, very emotional for all of us who have TPS,” said Jorge Garcia, 53, a carpenter. “We work, we are part of our community, we have played a role in the development of this country.”

    Delmy Garcia, 50, has taken on any job she can find — cleaning offices and restaurants, working in hotels and construction.

    “Everything we’ve achieved has been through our own efforts,” she said. “No one has given us anything.”

    They’re not sure what’s next for them.

    Temporary Protected Status lasts 18 months and is often renewed automatically. Among those it protects from deportation are some 250,000 people from El Salvador, 80,000 from Honduras and 4,500 from Nicaragua.

    But there’s no appeal beyond the Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously June 7 that temporary protection holders have no special path toward permanent residency. They can achieve it only through the process afforded to all applicants — and only if they entered the United States legally.

    This leaves the Garcias and many like them to pin their hopes on the kind of comprehensive immigration reform that has eluded Congress for decades.

    “For us, work is everything, that’s why we don’t ask for much,” Jorge said. “Just the hope and peace of mind that one day we may have the opportunity to have a green card.”

    It’s a hope that fueled them as they raised their children, all U.S. citizens by birth — Jorge, 21; Enzo, 17; and Luis, 12.

    They say they can’t return to Honduras because they have no life there and no prospects for starting a new one.

    “In Honduras, there are no jobs, the economy is bad and there is no security,” Jorge said.

    Groups advocating for a more restrictive immigration policy welcomed the Supreme Court ruling, saying that immigrants are abusing the Temporary Protection Status.

    The designation was never intended to serve “as an avenue for the resettlement of illegal aliens,” said Spencer Raley, a research associate with the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington D.C.

    “The Supreme Court also noted that TPS is simply a temporary deferral of deportation, and does not in any way constitute a lawful means of residency in the United States,” Raley said.

    Immigrant advocates decried the court’s decision as a blow to one of the few hopes for citizenship available to many immigrant families.

    “TPS holders deserve the possibility of becoming residents; they have earned their place in our society,” said Lisette Sanchez, an immigration lawyer in Tampa.

    They fled extraordinary problems in their home countries, said Juan Flores, president of the Florida Honduran community group Fundación 15 de Septiembre. The state is home to some 43,000 people with Temporary Protected Status, the largest share of whom fled a series of natural disasters in Haiti.

    “Granting TPS holders permanent status is the right way to go,” Flores said. “No doubt about it.”

    The designation has been a political football as the presidency has shifted from Democrat Barack Obama to Republican Donald J. Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.
    Trump sought to end Temporary Protected Status as part of his policy of curbing immigration overall. Legal challenges blocked Trump, but in September, a federal appeals court sided with him and upheld his order to end the designation in early 2021. By then, Biden had been sworn in and the designation continues.

    Last month, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would create a path to citizenship for an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants, including holders of Temporary Protected Status. A related Biden initiative, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, would allow people in the country illegally before Jan. 1 to apply for green cards and enter an eight-year path to citizenship.

    Meantime, Vice President Kamala Harris just returned from a mission in Central America to address the social and economic problems that drive people to flee the region. Harris announced commitments from a dozen companies and organizations to invest in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

    Marlon Cruz, 55, also entered the country illegally from Honduras and has had Temporary Protected Status since 1999.

    But Cruz, who lives in Miami, qualifies to apply for a green card because he risked taking a trip back to his home country — a requirement for any applicant who entered the United States illegally.

    He made the trip to Honduras in 2018 and stayed two weeks under a special permit from immigration authorities known as “advance parole.” Upon his return to the U.S., he was “legally admitted.”

    Cruz has an adult son who is a citizen and will file as his green card sponsor.
    The Garcias, too, have an adult son who is a citizen. But they’re reluctant to make the trip back to Honduras after more than 30 years away for fear they will not be allowed back into the U.S.

    Said Cruz, “It was not an easy decision because you don’t really know what can happen when you return. There is no guarantee that they will let you in.”
    He sympathizes with families like the Garcias.

    “It’s as if they were throwing you out without a parachute, with nothing to cushion the fall.”

    Last edited by Beezer; 06-19-2021 at 08:40 AM.


  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016

    TPS needs to be terminated and they all need to go home.

    They can play a "role" in the development of their own damn countries.

    And they LIE. They do not pay for their U.S. born offspring. They do not pay the costly pre-natal care, they do not pay for the Doctor's appointments, they do not pay the thousands in costs of childbirth, and they do not pay for healthcare! They do not pay the high costs in our overcrowded schools.

    Their "problems" at home, and wanting a job is NOT our responsibility to solve or provide. That is their president's responsibility.

    Get them all off our soil and free up our housing.

    Where is the parachute for the American taxpayer who foots the bill for this massive invasion of our country?

    No Permanent Status

    No Path to Stay

    No Amensty #8

    No Birthright Citizenship

    Enough of dumping entire cities of foreign citizens on our backs.

    Go home and get in line like TWO BILLION people on the planet who want to come here! Fix your own country!


  3. #3
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    Apr 2016
    For many immigrants in South Florida, Supreme Court ruling sparks fear of the future

    Monique O. Madan, Jacqueline Charles
    Thu, June 17, 2021, 2:19 PM

    At three months pregnant, Kerlyne Paraison, 40, packed a bag one Saturday evening 13 years ago, waved goodbye to her aunt and headed to a Bahamian dock where she crawled into the hold of a small boat with a cousin and 35 strangers.

    Soon, she was speeding across the blue waters of the Atlantic, unsure of where she was headed. When the boat finally stopped off the coast of Bimini, she and her fellow passengers were thrown a rope and told to climb onboard another, bigger vessel.

    “The way the trip happened, is something extraordinary and I have to thank God,” Paraison said, recalling her illegal journey to America where she didn’t pass through a formal immigration checkpoint at an airport, but was whisked through a wrought iron gate at a Miami Beach marina and into a safehouse before being driven to the home of a relative.

    “They always tell you that ‘In life, if you want to reach some place, you have to make the sacrifice,’ ” said Paraison.

    While she made it to a new land and a new life, that sacrifice could end up costing the Haiti-born immigrant the ability to eventually become a “green card” holder with U.S. permanent residency.

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants like Paraison who entered the U.S. illegally and have been granted temporary protection in the U.S. due to conditions in their homeland, are not eligible for green cards, the first step before being eligible for citizenship.

    Obtaining Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, the court said, cannot be considered a proper “inspected and admitted” entry to the U.S., which is a requirement for lawful permanent resident status. The ruling does not apply to TPS holders who entered with a U.S. visa and overstayed.


    The high court’s unanimous decision in the case of Sanchez v. Mayorkas is a huge blow and yet another roadblock for many of the 400,000 immigrants from a dozen countries, whose nationals have been granted the right to temporarily live and work in the U.S. after their homelands qualified for Temporary Protected Status because of war or natural disaster.

    Immigration advocates say the impact of the court’s decision varies from community to community, and puts pressure on Congress to pass immigration reform so that immigrants can stop living in legal limbo. The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would provide a path to legal residency and citizenship for immigrants with TPS. But the legislation, Dream and Promise Act also known as HR6, faces a tough road to approval.

    Florida Republican senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, who are among those opposed to the legislation have repeatedly said that TPS is meant to be temporary, not something that should be a path to something permanent. Scott has come out in support of the unanimous Supreme Court ruling.

    “I had a plan to help TPS and got all the Republicans on board, and Democrats blocked it twice,” Scott said, referring to attempts in 2019 to grant TPS to Venezuelans on the Senate floor in exchange for putting more requirements on renewing TPS designations once they are made.

    Democrats blocked Scott’s plan because they did not support more requirements on renewing TPS designations. Republicans in Congress and former President Donald Trump did not pass TPS for Venezuelans, which President Joe Biden did shortly after his inauguration.

    Scott said the issue of granting TPS to countries with humanitarian crises and providing pathways to permanent residency or citizenship for immigrants are “totally separate” issues.

    “It’s a totally separate issue because it’s a temporary program,” Scott said. “We’ve got to have more legal immigration and less illegal immigration and we’ve got to make sure we bring in people who help our economy.”

    On Tuesday, Rony Ponthieux, a Haitian TPS holder and nurse who came to the United States 22 years ago, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to pass HR6.

    “It would be extremely difficult for my family and me to be forced to leave after 20 years of living in the United States and return to a country in shambles,” Ponthiex told senators.

    He added: “My message to this administration, the government, and Senate is to think about fair treatment for TPS holders. Now is not the time to play politics — we need real solutions.”

    There are over 55,000 TPS recipients from Haiti, of which 14% live in Florida. Last month, the Biden administration granted a new designation of TPS to Haiti that is set to benefit more than 100,000 people.

    Advocates have been pushing for renewals for Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador as well as Somalia, which is up for renewal on July 19.

    “Anytime there is an issue in the news that impacts immigrants, it brings to life the whole issue and the need for immigration reform,” said Randolph McGrorty, the head of Catholic Legal Services, noting that the Supreme Court decision could have paved the way to regulate the status of hundreds of thousands of TPS holders.

    In addition to fighting for Congress to pass immigration reform, McGrorty said advocates are also fighting to get U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reinstate a long-standing rule and practice that allowed those with TPS to leave the country, with permission, and reenter and have their reentry be considered “an inspection and parole” for the purposes of getting a green card through a family member.

    During the Trump administration, the agency issued a memo saying that as of August 2020, TPS holders could not have their travel be considered for the purposes of adjusting their status to residency. The Supreme Court ruling did not address this, but the rule has not been reinstated, which would help thousands of TPS holders.

    “USCIS still has the authority and the discretion to return to its prior policy, which is legal and worked for thousands and thousands of immigrants,” McGrorty said.
    But until that happens, many remain troubled by the Supreme Court’s decision and scared for the future.

    “Every time I think about it, I have a huge headache,” Paraison said, describing a similar reaction every time she faces expiration of her TPS benefits.


    Born in Haiti, Paraison left in 2008, two years before the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. The disaster left more than 300,000 dead and 1.5 million Haitians homeless resulting in the Obama administration’s decision to designate TPS for the country.

    Haitian advocates and their supporters had lobbied various U.S. administrations for years, requesting TPS on behalf of Haiti as it struggled for years with multiple man-made and natural disasters after ending a nearly 30-year Duvalier family dictatorship.

    The year Paraison decided to leave Haiti, the country had experienced four back-to-back tropical storms and hurricanes in 30 days and hunger riots. It was also dealing with gang violence.

    “There were gangs, who every night would confront people,” Paraison said about her Fontamara neighborhood situated on the southern edge of the capital.

    She concedes the gang problem then was nowhere near how it is currently. A new wave of gang violence in Port-au-Prince in the last two weeks, has forced nearly 8,500 women and children to flee their homes, according to the UNICEF. “The capital is now facing an urban guerrilla war, with thousands of children and women caught in the crossfire,” Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, said, describing the insecurity, which also includes an alarming spike in kidnappings.
    The gang clashes have erupted in the areas of Delmas, Martissant and Fontamara, where Paraison is from.

    “Things haven’t improved,” she said. “They’ve become worse. Back then, there wasn’t kidnapping. Now there is kidnapping.”

    The specter of gang violence and the inability to scrape out a living were enough, Paraison said, to convince her to leave. She at first considered Panama, but decided to take her chances on Nassau, Bahamas. She flew to the country on a visa and soon found a housekeeping job.

    “I always thought if I left, I would be able to find an improvement for my family,” she said about her decision, describing Haiti as “difficult.”

    It was while working in Nassau and living with an aunt that she learned about the smuggling trip to the U.S. A cousin, who would later, join her and then eventually relocate to Canada, told her about the pending voyage.

    Kerlyne Paraison, center, a Haitian TPS holder, is surrounded by her children at their home in Miami’s Little River neighborhood on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. From left to right: Kevin, 7, Kiara, Kerlyne Paraison, Kemora and Christephane, 12.

    “It was a Thursday, and he said, ‘Kerlyne, there is a movement,’ implying a smuggling trip was in the works.

    She went to see a Bahamian man involved in the organization of the trip. “He said, ‘You don’t have to be afraid. It’s going to be a big tourist boat.”

    The trip, he said, cost $5,000 and Friday would be the final day to pay. Paraison only had $2,000, however. She called an uncle in Miami who wired the remaining $3,000.

    On Saturday, she told her aunt, “I’m going to take my chance.”

    Later that day, under the cover of darkness, she and her cousin waved goodbye and headed to the dock. She was shocked to discover that the supposed tourist boat was small and flat, with a hold she and the 36 others were told to hide inside.
    “I was scared,” she said. “I said, ‘Oh my God. I am already afraid of the ocean and I don’t know how to swim.’”

    Then she saw her traveling companions: A group of Chinese migrants who were also being smuggled.

    “I kept thinking the boat would sink,” she said. “They kept saying, ‘You don’t have to be afraid.’ ”

    The voyage was rough below. They could feel every bounce of the sea, and the water was coming inside the hold. Then it suddenly stopped.

    “I saw a huge boat,” she said. “The small boat pulled next to it, they dropped a rope but the lights were never turned on. Then I saw all of the Chinese grab the rope and they were being pulled up and dropped into the boat.”

    Then came her turn.

    “I said, “I don’t know how I am going to make it,” she said. “My cousin told me to make an effort so I can climb onto the boat. The little boat started rocking because there was only us left.”

    Paraison eventually made it onboard. “When I went onboard, it was beautiful. The inside was beautiful. It was air conditioned, there were rugs on the floor. You’re onboard and don’t realize you’re on the ocean. There were rooms to sleep in and a large living room. It was as if we had stepped into a house. The boat was speeding and you didn’t even know it was.”

    At one point, sea sickness got the best of her. She began vomiting. That’s when she started to believe her new life was within her reach.

    She knows she is lucky and that hers was an extraordinary, and unusual journey. Most migrants being smuggled to Florida from the Bahamas are often brought in overcrowded, go-fast boats and are often forced to jump overboard while still out to sea. In the process, untold numbers die. Those who don’t often are intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard along the way or picked up by authorities once they land and eventually repatriated to Haiti.

    Recently, 22 Haitian immigrants were intercepted and repatriated on June 10 by the U.S. Coast Guard. They were 30 minutes away from the Florida coast, near Lake Worth. Most of the immigrants were from Haiti, and upon returning told agents with the International Office for Migration that they had paid $4,000 for the journey.

    Kerlyne Paraison, a Haitian TPS holder, is photographed at her home in Miami’s Little River neighborhood on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

    “There are a lot of people who never make it along the route,” Paraison said.

    “I don’t even know how to swim in a pool, or even in a river. I’ve always been afraid of the sea, but I believed that God would help me arrive safely because I was in search of a better life,” she said.

    Now she doesn’t know how long that better life might last.

    Paraison, a certified nursing assistant who lives in Little Haiti, just gave birth to twins in April. Her two other children are 13 and 7.

    “I have nothing in Haiti. Nothing. Nothing to go back to,” she said. “Just the thought of having to go back makes me nauseous, just like that boat.”
    McClatchy Staff Writer Alex Daugherty contributed to this report.

    Last edited by Beezer; 06-19-2021 at 08:50 AM.


  4. #4
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    They show up pregnant and WE taxpayers foot the bill for it! How many more mouths did she give birth to that she left behind? These people need to stop breeding in a mud puddle and get on birth control.

    Hundreds of thousands of more TPS that need to be loaded on ships back home.

    I have "nothing in Haiti" but I continue to breed more mouths I cannot feed is disgusting and we should not be forced to pay for their healthcare, education, welfare, food stamps and social services.

    We cannot take in every person on the planet "wanting a better life". Fix your own countries, we are sick of this and we have millions of our own homeless who want a better life.
    borderhawk7 likes this.


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