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Posted: January 16, 2018

Haitians under protected status call on administration to process work permits

Haitian and American flags(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Haitian and American flags(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By WFTV.com

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

Thousands of Haitians living in Central Florida said they're just days away from being forced out of their jobs.

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Many of those worried are workers at Disney World.

They were granted Temporary Protected Status after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010.

They’re now finding out their jobs are in limbo, because their work authorizations are about to expire and new applications aren't being processed.

The change affects more than 500 workers at Disney, many of whom have families and homes in Central Florida.

In October, dozens of Haitians marched through the streets of Pine Hills, calling on the Trump administration to renew their TPS.

Many were facing the possibility of being forced to leave the country before the administration extended TPS until July of 2019 for more than 50,000 Haitians living and working in the U.S.

But now, they're facing another dilemma.

Wilna Destin has lived in Orlando 18 years.

She's married with two children and she has no idea what will happen next week when her and her husband's work authorization permits expire.

"That hurts, you know. It hurts your family,” she said.

TPS workers in Central Florida said they've learned the administration is not even processing their work authorization applications, which they need to stay employed.

Sano Leger, a union representative, said it affects workers all through the tourist corridor.

"Most of those big hotels, they have people who have TPS working in there,” he said.

The Disney unions are planning a rally Thursday afternoon outside the crossroads entrance to Disney to bring attention to their dilemma and to demand that the Trump administration allow Haitian TPS holders to work.


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