MIAMI – Look no further than the children to see how people will be affected by the policy change triggering the end of temporary protected status for Haitians.
Community leaders in South Florida's Haitian community estimated that about 20,000 children were born on U.S. soil to the 50,000 or more Haitians protected under TPS.
South Florida's community leaders and congressional representatives expressed their outrage Tuesday. Also taking the podium in protest were two American-born children who fear losing their parents.
LaGrande Jeune Elaine, 7, traveled to Washington to ask leaders to help protect her family.
"My message to President (Donald) Trump is to look deep down in his heart," she said to a packed crowd of reporters.
Then there was Ronyde Cristina Ponthieux. Both of the 10-year-old girl's parents could be deported if they don't get legal status before the July 2019 deadline.
Ronyde considers herself a youth community leader. Her words and passion bore through everyone present.
Here are some excerpts from her message to the president:
"How can you deport these people who have been here for so long? They have been contributing to the economic and political fabric of this great nation. How can you do this to me? How can you do this to us?
"It will be difficult for my parents to put food on the table in Haiti -- (and) find a shelter, food for me and a school. Understand how painful it must be to leave (your) children behind. (These are) thousands of children from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua or El Salvador."
"Think about what you are doing before you go to sleep at night. I love my dad. I love my parents (and) all these people. Our lives matter. How can you do this to us?"