This 10-Year-Old Activist Has A Message For Trump: 'Haitians Are Not Criminals'
President Donald Trump's administration plans to send more than 60,000 Haitians back to the devastated nation.
November 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm
Ronyde Christina Ponthieux had a few words for President Donald Trump after his administration announced plans to end the temporary protection status for Haitians affected by the 2010 earthquake that rocked their nation.
The 10-year-old expressed the heartache thousands of people may be feeling in her nearly five-minute video where she appeals to Trump as a father and husband for a change of heart.“We are not criminals. Like my parents, like your parents, like you, they are hard working honest people who just want a safe place to raise their families,” she said in her video. “They have deep roots in their communities; they pay taxes; they contribute to the social, economic and the political fabric of this great nation.”
Ronyde and her father live in Florida where he is a nurse. Like many people displaced by the 2010 natural disaster, Haitians often work in the U.S. and send their earnings back to the nation to help their loved ones. It is quite possible if Trump's administration does not show sympathy nearly 60,000 people will be forced back to a nation that is not ready for them to return. Her father will be one of the many thousands of people deported.
By July 2019, the Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti will end. The TPS is an immigration status that allows refugees to seek a safe haven after a major catastrophe like an earthquake.
"Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist," a Nov. 20 statement from the Department of Homeland Security said. "Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated."
Critics from both sides of the aisle have pointed out that Haiti is in no condition to receive 60,000 people. After the 2016 Hurricane Matthew, the island suffered another drawback halting progress.
"As the proud son of two immigrants who fled an oppressive regime, I'm disgusted at the President's heartlessness," DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement shared by the DNC. "With this decision, Trump is tearing families apart and turning his back on the values that have made our country great."
Watch Ronyde's rousing plea below.