Haitians Living In U.S. Can Apply For New, Temporary Protected Status : NPR

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Saturday a new opportunity for Haitians living in the US to apply for an 18-month designation granting them temporary protection status. Almond Ngan-Pool / Getty Images Hide caption

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Almond Ngan Pool / Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Saturday a new opportunity for Haitians living in the US to apply for an 18-month designation granting them temporary protection status.

Almond Ngan Pool / Getty Images

The Biden government is granting eligible Haitian nationals residing in the United States the opportunity to apply for a new 18-month expulsion for temporary protection. The decision may affect more than 100,000 Haitians living in the United States, proponents say.

Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas cited security concerns, social unrest, human rights violations and crippling poverty for the decision. The impact of a devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti exacerbated the severity of conditions there, he said in a statement on Saturday.

“After careful consideration, we decided that we must do everything we can to support Haitian nationals in the US until conditions in Haiti improve so that they can return home safely,” he said.

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Haiti was originally designated for TPS after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010. These safeguards were expanded several times until the Trump administration attempted to end them altogether in 2017. Several lawsuits in which both procedural defects and Animus towards “non-white, non-European immigrants” behind them blocked this effort from taking effect.

This temporary designation enables nationals to live and work in the United States. It is estimated that 325,000 TPS recipients from 11 countries from Burma and Somalia to El Salvador and Haiti live in the United States, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

Saturday’s order is only for eligible Haitian nationals – and other non-citizens who most recently lived in Haiti – who reside in the United States as of May 21. Homeland Security warned that anyone trying to travel to the U.S. following Saturday’s announcement is not eligible and this could be repatriated.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, described the announcement as “long overdue”.

“We applaud the government’s long overdue decision to redesign Haiti for TPS, and commend President Biden for making repeated calls to deliver on his election promise to protect the Haitian communities with longstanding relationships that have built their lives in the United States. has followed, “said Hincapié. “This announcement is a welcome relief to the more than 100,000 Haitians who have lived in great uncertainty.”

The 18-month TPS designation in Haiti will come into effect on the publication day of the federal register’s announcement, which Homeland Security says will come soon.

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