Migration Policy Institute, By Kira Olsen-Medina and Jeanne Batalova, August 12, 2020
The United States is the top global destination for Haitian migrants, although significant migration is relatively recent. The first major Haitian arrivals had escaped during the brutal, three-decade-long Duvalier father-son dictatorship, the collapse of which in 1986 led to political and economic chaos in Haiti. Beyond political instability, endemic poverty and a series of natural disasters, including a devastating 2010 earthquake, have prompted generations of Haitians to move to the United States, elsewhere in the Caribbean, and other countries throughout the Americas.
Haitian immigrants account for less than 2 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population, though their numbers increased by 17 percent from 2010 (587,000) to 2018 (687,000). After the 2010 earthquake, which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and displaced more than 1.5 million people, the U.S. government extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to certain Haitians already in the United States, providing…
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