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Haiti will ask US to renew immigration benefits

Posted at 11:56 AM, May 10, 2017

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) --  Haitian government officials say they're ill-equipped to welcome back tens of thousands of people granted U.S. immigration privileges after a 2010 earthquake.

Roughly 50,000 Haitians legally living and working in the U.S. could face deportation if the Trump Administration doesn't renew their "temporary protected status" this month.

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At Haiti's embassy in Washington on Wednesday, Political and Economic Affairs Specialist Dave Fils-Aime said Haiti's diplomats will ask U.S. officials to continue those protections. He says the return of so many Haitian nationals "would be detrimental" to the Caribbean country.

Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Rodrigue said his country is still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Matthew in October.

Rodrigue also said the potential loss of remittances would cause difficulties. Haiti benefited from about $1.3 billion in remittances from the United States in 2015.