Haiti Post-Earthquake & Status Of Haitians In The US

Haitians Post-Earthquake And What You Should Know About Their Status In The United States

Why Trump is trying to deport Haitians seeking relief and why the legal community will not let this happen.

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Temporary Protected Status, established by the United States Congress in 1990, is designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security in cases where citizens of a country are unable to live or return safely to their country of origin or if the country in question is incapable of receiving its nationals . This could be due to armed conflicts, environmental disasters, epidemics, or other "extraordinary" conditions (Danticat, 1). When Temporary Protected Status is provided it is granted for eighteen months at a time and can be renewed by the Department of Homeland Security, sometimes in conference with the State Department and the Secretary of State (Danticat, 2). One very important aspect of Temporary Protected Status to note is that it does not offer a path to citizenship even while it allows one to apply for a work permit and driver's license and protects the individual from deportation (Danticat, 3).

In the case of Haiti, Temporary Protected Status was granted after the 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake which killed 300,000 and left over 1 million homeless. After the earthquake Haitian advocates, many Miami-based, appealed to the United States government and Temporary Protected Status was granted 9 days after the Earthquake (Danticat,3). Subsequent reasons as to why the Status was renewed included the outbreak of Cholera introduced by Nepalese United Nations Peacekeepers that killed 9,000 and infected 800,000, as well as the inability for Haiti to receive its nationals due to the damage done to infrastructure, and therefore the economy (Danticat, 3).

The Department of Homeland Security in late 2017 and early 2018 announced that they planned to terminate the Temporary Protective Statuses of Haiti, Sudan, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, citing that the conditions that caused migrants to flee no longer existed (Flynn, 3). The Status of Haiti was up for renewal in 2019 and many advocacy groups protested for its reissuing claiming that it would surely destroy the lives of the thousands of Haitians who reside within the United States who have Temporary Protected Status (Vassolo, 2). Besides that, it was argued that the evidence regarding the current economic and structural situation in Haiti was completely unprepared for a large influx of returning citizens (Flynn 3). However, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen blocked the motion in the deciding case of Crista Ramos v Kirstjen Nielsen affecting all four countries by asserting that the potential harm to the returning immigrants- "returning to their countries of origin after spending years in the United States- outweighed any harm to the [United States] government" (Flynn, 1). Chen found that the order was not in line with the Constitution, specifically that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act as the decision was not made with "reasoned judgment and evidence" (Flynn,3). He felt that the order was racially, nationalistically, and ethnically motivated and cited several tweets and public statements given by President Trump to support his assertion. Trump consistently has tweeted America-First policies on his twitter account and has referred to South Americans generally as "drug dealers", "rapists", and "criminals". In addition, he has referred to Haiti and African nations as "shit-hole countries" (Vitali, 1). This apparent bias influenced Chen's decision in ruling against the Trump administration.

As I have previously mentioned there are several other countries besides Haiti who currently have Temporary Protected Status. These include El Salvador, Guinea, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria. Along with Haiti, the statuses of Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador were renewed after being contested in the past year (Flynn). All meet the requirement of having unsuitable conditions for their citizens to return at the present moment and were seemingly almost sent back due to fervent nationalism. For now, thanks to Judge Chen, all of these nations retain their Temporary Protective Status.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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