MIAMI (WSVN) - Members of South Florida’s Haitian community hit the pavement Saturday to protest in favor of extending an immigration designation that allows thousands of Haitians living in the U.S. to remain in the country.
Hundreds marched outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Miami Field Office, along Northwest Seventh Avenue, near Interstate 95.
Demonstrators spoke on behalf of the nearly 50,000 Haitians who could face deportation if President Donald Trump does not renew the Temporary Protective Status that allows for them to stay in the U.S.
“We should not be afraid if tomorrow they’ll ship us away,” said one protester.
“We’re hoping that they see just how important this is, and the whole context of human rights,” said activist Badili Jones. “This is a human rights and social justice issue. We don’t want people to go back into a precarious situation.”
The immigration designation was granted by the Obama administration in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the Caribbean country. It allows Haitians to live and work freely in the U.S.
Other immigrants are covered other the Temporary Protective Status, but for Haitians it expires on July 22. The Trump administration has until then to extend the order or let it expire.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.