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Haitian community sending a message to President Trump

Posted at 7:38 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 19:40:57-05

Activist and local radio host James Leger says Haitians who escaped the devastating 2010 earthquake have been living in America on borrowed time for a while now.

He was part of a group that went to Congress on Monday, lobbying for an extension to their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which shielded them from deportation.

The Trump administration announced TPS would expire in July of 2019.

“We got 18 months, and to some satisfaction, I’m happy,” Leger says. 

Now, back in his West Palm Beach studio at WPOM, he’s gearing up for the next battle.

“I’m tired of fighting for TPS. I want to fight for green cards now. I want to fight for permanent residence.”

Tuesday, he wasn’t alone.

Dozens of demonstrators hit the streets just hours before president Trump settled in this holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

“We work, we pay bills, some of us we have a house,” says demonstrator Myrtha Abraham. “We do everything good...we follow the law.”

Immigration activists worry the end of TPS will tear families apart.
 
“My daughter was very sad,” Abraham says. “Mommy, I don’t want to say bye to you, I want to be with you.”
 
Leger’s advice for the Haitian community - get ready. 

“People should use these 18 months to prepare themselves for the worst,” he says. 

However, he remains hopeful that borrowed time will soon become permanent.

“America needs immigrants to operate,” Leger says. “So instead of running this country on a temporary status, let’s do the right thing.”