Trump administration ends temporary protection for Haitians

Saul Bowman
November 22, 2017

Department officials said Monday that conditions in Haiti have improved significantly since the quake, so the benefit will be extended one last time until July 2019 to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.

The Haitian government had asked the Trump administration to extend the protected status.

If TPS is not extended, Haitians sent home will face dire conditions, including lack of housing, inadequate health services and low prospects for employment. Individuals who are already in the USA from the designated countries are eligible and are then protected from deportation. More than 325,000 people from 10 countries have Temporary Protected Status and have lived in limbo for years, sometimes decades.

Haitians on Long Island are among tens of thousands of immigrants who will lose Temporary Protected Status, a designation that had allowed them to stay and work here legally since 2010.

But Duke deferred for six months a decision for the much larger group of 57,000 Hondurans living here under the same designation, saying that more time was needed for consideration.

Murray says she is baffled that Haiti was not deemed to have met the criteria for TPS.

Thousands of Nicaraguans and Hondurans received the special status in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America.

TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua are now set to expire on January 5.

"There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that can not provide for them", Sen.

The deferral came after an unsuccessful White House effort to pressure her to end the program, officials said at the time.

"We acknowledge that this is a decision that will clearly impact a lot of people, but as I mentioned earlier, the acting secretary is constrained by what the law says", senior administration officials said.

"It really undermines their credibility on immigration policy in general", she said.

"Besides the human toll on Haitian TPS recipients and their families, it will be costly for their employers, ruinous to the up and coming neighborhoods where they often live, and destablilizing to their countries of origin", Saenz said.

Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-In-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society says that once the TPS re-registration period is announced in the coming days, affected Haitians will be able to contact The Legal Aid Society at (844) 955-3425 or [email protected] to schedule a renewal appointment, "at which we will also screen applicants for other, hopefully, more permanent forms of immigration relief". But they are people of color, and the notion he'd ship as many of them out of the country as possible is what got this president* elected.

Temporary Protected Status is a designation that temporarily lets residents of certain countries remain in the USA because conditions in their homeland are too risky to return.

"The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country's original designation were based and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute", DHS wrote in statement.

In May 2017, then-Secretary Kelly announced a limited extension for Haiti's TPS designation, stating that he believed there were indications that Haiti - if its recovery from the 2010 natural disaster continued at pace - may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018.

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