The fate of thousands of Southwest Florida Haitians hang in the balance since President Trump removed Temporary Protected Status from them.
Local Democrats are hoping a November “blue wave" will force the president to change his mind.
"The crisis that our community is facing here tonight, is the result of one man's hateful whim,” said District 19 Congressional Candidate David Holden said of the president.
Many of the Haitians living in Southwest Florida are here under Temporary Protected Status granted after a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation 8 years ago.
"When I meet with a family that is on TPS, I often have to ask, what happens if you get picked up and deported tomorrow, what happens to your children, what is the plan for your children,” Immigration attorney Indera Demine told a crowd at the Heavenly Canaan Baptist Church Thursday night.
TPS will end in July of 2019, and unless Congress extends the deadline, thousands of Haitians will have to leave unless they are granted extended residency.
The ripple effect of deportation could be felt far beyond the church, the region could lose 2,000 medical workers who are covered under TPS.
"We've heard about the folks at Lee Memorial, but I represent the 25 nursing homes in Southwest Florida as president of the Health Care Association and there are thousands more who are going to be impacted,” said District 19 Congressional Candidate Todd Truax.
A free workshop will be held with immigration attorneys August 25th at the Quality of Life Center in Ft. Myers for those affected by TPS.