By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia officials want to keep their residents who are Haitians, living here under Temporary Protected Status. They held a news conference Wednesday to denounce a Trump administration plan to end protected status for Haitians.

Mayor Jim Kenney vowed the city would do what it could for Haitians who came here with protected status after the devastating 2010 earthquake, pulling no punches in his critique of the decision to end the program.

“The Trump administration is telling nearly 60,000 Haitians to just get out. He should get out, actually,” said Kenney.

Officials were joined by Haitians sharing stories of the roots they’ve put down here and the Sophie’s Choice-like situation they’re now in.

“Do I take my child back to Haiti with me where there’s nothing, there’s no jobs or do I leave them here?”

There are practical, as well as altruistic reasons, for protecting the community says Councilwoman Helen Gym.

“This is about the future of Philadelphia. Five decades of population decline have been reversed in our city due in large part to the presence of immigrants including our Haitian community. No matter what is happening in DC, this is still our city and we are standing together,”said Gym.

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