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As Haitian immigrants in US face loss of protected status, community members push back

Gerald Michaud, a Haitian immigrant living in New York City, speaks at the martial arts center where he teaches at night.
Gerald Michaud, a Haitian immigrant living in New York City, speaks at the martial arts center where he teaches at night. © FRANCE 24 (screengrab)

About 50,000 Haitian immigrants in the United States face deportation next January due to the loss of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a government designation they received in the wake of the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But some community members are fighting back.  

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A resident of the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Flatbush, also known as New York City's 'Little Haiti', Gerald Michaud works seven days a week to support his family members in Haiti. He says that having Temporary Protected Status is critical for his livelihood.

"The thing about TPS, is it's all about security," he told FRANCE 24 outside LaGuardia Airport, where he works as a security guard. "The security to have a job. To have accommodation. To have money to send to your family, and for yourself."

New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian-born member of that governing body and whose district office is in Little Haiti, is trying to help immigrants like Michaud. The neighborhood is home to some 5,200 Haitian immigrants who currently benefit from TPS.

Michaud also teaches martial arts at night. His fighting spirit led him to get involved in a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration for its decision to end Temporary Protected Status.

Click on the player above to watch Jessica Le Masurier and Céline Bruneau's report.

                                                        

 

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