The Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protected status, or TPS, for Haitians living in the United States will have a devastating impact on the ability of skilled nursing facilities to provide quality care to frail and disabled residents.
Massachusetts nursing facilities rely heavily on first-generation Americans and immigrants to meet care needs. There are approximately 4,300 Haitians who provide care and companionship to our residents. These workers include licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, and laundry and food service staff. They are on the front lines daily — and nightly — and their dedication is inspiring and cannot be understated.
Because of longstanding government underfunding for nursing facility care, 1 in 7 direct care positions are unfilled. Eliminating TPS for Haitians would undoubtedly make the situation worse and affect our ability to provide quality care. We need to adopt immigration policies that help ensure that we can meet the care needs of our residents today and in the future and provide a living wage for our dedicated front-line staff.
Many people affected by the repeal of the TPS designation have been working in the United States for years. They have created a life for their families and have become part of the collective caregiver community. And they help make life better for the more than 150,000 people who live in the state’s nursing homes each year.
We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decision.