That unrest forced the nation’s prime minister to resign, just the latest step in a seemingly never-ending series of calamities plaguing the country.
First designated for TPS following the catastrophic earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000, the country has since been hit by a cholera outbreak, an island-wide drought, and a direct hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 that created, in the words of the U.S. State Department, “a new humanitarian emergency.”
Frank Mora, director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, said all of those ensuing problems have exacerbated Haiti’s earthquake recovery and cannot be treated as separate, individual crises. “Haiti is still living with the consequences of the earthquake,” he said.
Throwing tens of thousands more Haitians back to the island right now, Mora said, will only strain the government’s limited resources and endanger the Haitians who will be returning to a country with problems at every turn. The majority live in South Florida and New York.
“They’ll have to face the constant political uncertainty, the energy crisis, the food distribution challenges that still exist,” Mora said. “If there’s any country in the Western Hemisphere where these people will be going into a near humanitarian disaster, it would be to Haiti.”