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Bipartisan outrage over Trump administration’s decision on Haitians

Florida lawmakers say a legislative fix is needed.
In this Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, file photo, Haitian national Carole Manigat, left, holds her daughter Hadassa Carole Albert as she waits for her turn to fill out temporary protective status papers at Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church in the Little Haiti neighborhood in Miami.
In this Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, file photo, Haitian national Carole Manigat, left, holds her daughter Hadassa Carole Albert as she waits for her turn to fill out temporary protective status papers at Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church in the Little Haiti neighborhood in Miami.
Published Nov. 21, 2017
Updated Nov. 21, 2017

Recriminations continued Tuesday over the Trump administration's plan to send Haitians home in 2019, a decision that brought rare bipartisan objections from Florida lawmakers.

"These individuals experienced severe loss and suffering as a result of the 2010 earthquake, and forcing them to leave the United States would be detrimental," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.

"Almost eight years later, Haiti remains in total disarray and still requires much rebuilding. These individuals are established, respected members of our communities who have made significant contributions, and I urge the administration to reconsider its decision regarding Haitian and Nicaraguan nationals."

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said there "is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them." He called the decision "unconscionable" and said a permanent legislative solution is needed.

"I am proud to have joined my colleagues Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in introducing the Extending Status Protection for Eligible Refugees with Established Residency (ESPERER) Act of 2017," said Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar. "This critically important bill will provide a pathway to legal permanent residency in our country for those living here under TPS.  The clock is ticking, and legislative action must be taken now."