Nirva, whose last name remains anonymous, is one of many immigrants who cares for the elderly. Nirva is a fourty-six-year-old from Haiti.
Approximately 59,000 Haitians are under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States. TPS is a humanitarian project that allows TPS recipients to work and live in the United States. Haitians received TPS after an earthquake at the beginning of 2010 that destroyed the majority of their country.
A large portion of the 59,000 Haitians in this country are working as nursing assistants and home health aids, many caring for the elderly.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration has put a deadline on TPS for Haitians: they must leave the country by July 22, 2019 or they will be subject to removal.
Not only will this affect the amount of caregivers for the elderly, but more importantly, these 59,000 Haitians are forced to return to a country riddled with devastation, no matter the future of their wellbeing.
The 55,000 immigrants with TPS in California, most of which are from El Salvador, are also most likely going to lose their status in 2019. Elayna Carver, the president of the California Assn. of Senior Care Homes says many senior care employees will be affected when the Salvadoran workers must return to their home country.
According to an organization in New York, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, 1 million immigrants living in the United States work in direct care. These 1 million immigrants make up one in four direct care workers.
MIT has already predicted a drop in 151,000 direct-care workers by the year 2030, and if TPS status direct-care workers are forced to leave the United States, this number will only increase.
In 2017, Massachusetts advocacy programs and healthcare providers wrote to the Department of Homeland Security begging them to extend TPS. The CEO of Bethany Health Care Center in Massachusetts, Sister Jacquelyn McCarthy said, “What people don’t seem to understand is that people from other countries really are the backbone of long-term care.”
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