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Haitians no longer eligible for US visas for low-skilled work

Haitians no longer eligible for US visas for low-skilled work

In a regulatory filing, DHS cited "high levels of fraud and abuse" from Haitians who use the program as well as a "high rate of overstaying the terms" from the visa recipients.

The Department of Homeland Security will stop allowing Haitians to get temporary agricultural and seasonal visas - a move that comes amid concerns about the Trump administration's feelings toward immigrants of that country and broader restrictions on legal immigration.

The prohibition comes less than a week after senators said President Donald Trump insulted Haiti in a White House meeting and was accused of referring to African nations as "shithole countries". DHS added Haitians who entered on H-2B visas were too low to record.

President Trump reportedly made vulgar comments about Haiti in a meeting last week; although he denied saying anything derogatory.

Those visas allow businesses to bring in workers from other countries.

DHS referred questions about the decision to Citizenship and Immigration Services, which emailed excerpts of DHS' notice in response.

People from nearly 80 countries are eligible to apply for temporary worker program visas in the USA and the list is published every year.

"Haiti has shown no improvement in these areas, and the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, that Haiti's inclusion on the 2018 H-2A and H-2B lists is no longer in the USA interest", the announcement said. The country has since sufficiently recovered from that quake, the DHS said.

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A research titled "Shared Harvest: Temporary Work Visas as US-Haiti Development Cooperation" conducted by the Center for Global Development recorded when people from countries such as Haiti come to work in the USA, the benefits were shared by both the nations. There has been a tremendous benefit from Haitian migrants to the USA, including on this particular visa.

Clemens said barring Haitians from the visa will encourage illegal migration to the USA and hurt the US economy.

The author of the study, Michael Clemens, said, "The administration has made it clear that it sees no benefit from Haitian immigrants in the USA, and that's incorrect".

The DHS secretary designates which countries' residents are eligible for the visas.

Roughly 80 countries are eligible for the temporary worker programs, and the list is published every year.

Supporters of the visas say they gave Haitians a rare opportunity to work legally in the United States, contribute to the US economy and help fund the recovery of Haiti after a major natural disaster in 2010, which killed more than 200,000 people.

Clemens said barring Haitians is the first concrete step from the administration to close off a legal migration route. While it's unusual, countries are removed from the list at times.

Belize and Samoa were also removed from the lists, for risks stemming from human trafficking and not taking back nationals ordered removed from the United States, respectively. The study also added the farm productivity by Haitian seasonal workers would create at least two jobs for USA workers.