Over 300 immigrant workers and protesters of different backgrounds gathered near President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club Tuesday to protest the administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians.
“It’s inhumane given the conditions where we’re sending these people back to,” Unite Here press secretary Rachel Gumpert said. “You’ve paid your taxes, started a business or maybe a family in this country and then a racist administration gets here and wants to get rid of you.”
About 5 buses arrived to West Palm Beach with people from Orlando, Tampa and Miami who are all, in some way, affected by TPS. Protest organizers included labor unions and organizations like Unite Here, SEIU Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition and The New Florida Majority.
On Monday, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke announced the special deportation protection will be revoked for nearly 60,000 Haitians.
“Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent,” Duke said in a statement. “Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens.”
“It’s completely unacceptable that Trump makes a decision like this then travels to Palm Beach for a week with his family,” Gumpert said. “This is the last thanksgiving TPS workers can spend with their loved ones.”
Earlier this month, Trump decided to end TPS for Nicaraguan immigrants leaving 2,500 without protection. Now 57,000 Hondurans are left in doubt since their TPS renewal decision was deferred until July.
The administration’s actions prompted immigrants and allies to rally. After crossing Southern Boulevard bridge, protesters were met by a barricade of police, sherriffs and secret service. Even though they couldn’t march to the club, Mar-a-Lago was close enough to be in sight.
“What do we want? Residence. When do we want it? Now,” the groups chanted.
The Guatemalan-Maya Center also showed their support for immigrant workers.
“Today we are here for Haiti,” the center’s director Frank O'Loughlin said. “We’re here to speak about freedom.”
Carla Trivino is a Mundo Hispánico reporter working out of The Palm Beach Post. For the latest news from Mundo Hispánico click here and to see what’s going on in the county follow me on Twitter and Instagram.