Amidst tension over President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration from certain countries, residents of Haiti, Belize and Samoa will lose eligibility for temporary agricultural and seasonal work visas this year, according to a notice from the Department of Homeland Security.
The DHS allows U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to grant H-2A and H-2B visas to citizens of roughly 80 countries, so that they may travel to the U.S. to fill temporary job openings. But a notice set to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday says starting Jan. 18, and continuing through that date next year, the list will be three countries shorter.
Haiti’s removal has attracted special attention, given that DHS recently announced that Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status designation — which allowed Haitians to live and work in the U.S. following the country’s 2010 earthquake — will end in July 2019. The Caribbean nation was also among those Trump reportedly referred to as “shithole” countries during a recent immigration meeting. (Trump has denied using that language, but stood by the policy he was discussing.)
The DHS notice cites “extremely high rates of refusal” among Haitians applying for H-2A or H-2B visas and “high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying the terms of their H-2 admission” as reasons for removing the country from the program.
Belize, according to the notice, will be eliminated based on its failure to meet the standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Samoa, meanwhile, has been deemed at risk of non-compliance when it comes to reaccepting nationals who have been deported from the U.S.
Mongolia will join the list of accepted countries in 2018, according to the report.