DHS bars Haitians from temporary work visas

DHS bars Haitians from temporary work visas

[JURIST] The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] on Wednesday announced [official notice] that it will bar Haitians from receiving H-2A and H-2B visas, which provide foreign workers access to the US for temporary agricultural and seasonal work.

DHS cited the “high rate of [Haitians] overstaying the terms” of their work visas as justification for removing Haiti from the list of visa-eligible countries. According to a 2016 DHS report on visa overstays [official report, PDF] Haiti’s non-immigrant visa overstay rate for 2016, which included H-2A and H-2B visas, was 39.25 percent out of 1498 visa recipients.

The Obama administration had added Haiti [Reuters report] in 2012 to the list of more than 80 visa-eligible countries.

Belize and Samoa were also removed from the list, due to concerns over human trafficking and the refusal to accept deportees. The Haitian embassy in the US did not immediately respond [Reuters report] to a request for comment. Officials in Haiti were not immediately available for comment.