MIAMI - South Florida educators and lawmakers are vowing to fight a recent decision to end temporary protected status for Haitians.
"As an immigrant myself, I cannot remain silent on this issue," Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said during a news conference Tuesday morning.
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Carvalho was joined by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and other fellow educators and lawmakers to condemn the Department of Homeland Security's decision to end TPS for Haitians in July 2019.
"Today is a difficult day, not just for those who benefit from the TPS program, but for so many South Florida families who depend on them," Curbelo said.
The temporary status allows Haitians who fled the country after the 2010 earthquake to live and stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
"What will we gain by deporting Haitians?" Wilson said. "It's not even that many -- 50,000 people. What do we gain?"
South Florida's congressional delegation wants to make the temporary protected status permanent.
"That's why we filed the Esperer legislation, which means hope in French," Curbelo said. "How appropriate."
Miami-Dade County school board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall said something must be done.
"We will not sit idly by and do nothing," she said. "If they come for the Haitians, they will come for all of us."
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