The main course at Tuesday's annual Thanksgiving luncheon to honor immigrants was cooked up by the Trump administration, which plans to end temporary protected status for Haitian nationals in the U.S. in July 2019. While guests cleared their plates of stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, speaker after speaker in the Great Hall of the State House dug into the Trump administration policy announced the night before.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced temporary protected status for Nicaraguans would end in January 2019. Attorney General Maura Healey, who has taken the Trump administration to court multiple times this year, indicated she might cut into the Department of Homeland Security's decision with more than just rhetoric.
"In the face of yet another cruel, reckless, illegal, unconstitutional and un-American act by our president you stand strong in the faith and in the belief that it is in and through our immigrant communities that this country is great and will be only greater," Healey said.
Haitian-American Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry said the decision is "neither a defeat nor a victory, but rather a call to action."
Haiti, which was rocked by an earthquake in 2010, is one of 10 countries whose nationals are designated for temporary protected status by the Department of Homeland Security, allowing them to remain in the United States legally.
Forry said it was positive that the termination was delayed by 18 months and said Haiti has an "ongoing crisis."
"This outcome is tempered only by the reality that many of the forces on the other side of this debate sought an immediate expulsion of Haitian nationals with TPS status," Forry wrote on Facebook Monday night. - Andy Metzger/SHNS