DHS to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Posted May 23, 2017

TPS for Haitians was last extended on January 23, 2016, for 18 months and was due to expire on June 22.

"During this six-month reprieve, I invite DHS officials to join me on a trip to Haiti".

"We are strongly encouraging current TPS recipients to take advantage of this six-month period to resolve their affairs, to include obtaining travel documentation", a DHS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on a press call.

Pierrot Mervilier, center rear, hugs a girl that did not wish to be identified, living in the US with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after she and her family spoke to members of the media, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Miami.

Haitian nationals were granted temporary protected status in the United States after a 2010 natural disaster, and public health conditions and infrastructure in Haiti have further worsened after destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew and a cholera epidemic. A cholera epidemic struck the country soon after and killed thousands more. Not to mention the cruelty of ripping people from the lives they have built here in the last seven years.

South Florida Haitian nationals who have been temporarily protected from deportation on Monday received what appeared to be good news. Those who were illegal and came to the attention of ICE would be deported, just like other Haitian illegal aliens. The Trump administration says it will only extend the program for six more months.

The extension runs from July 23, 2017, through January 22, 2018.

Haitians had staged protests across the United States as the clock ticked on the May 21 deadline for the TPS.

Kelly said in a public statement that conditions in Haiti are improving and that this may be the final extension.

As the recovery from the devastating 2010 quake continues, almost 98 percent of camps for displaced persons in Haiti have closed, according to DHS.

"TPS as enacted in law is inherently temporary in nature, and beneficiaries should plan accordingly", Kelly said in the release.

"Last week, I asked the White House to extend the TPS deadline for Haitians until at least January 18, and I'm glad to see that the administration agreed", Rubio said in a statement. Earlier this year, he requested an analysis of the criminal history of Haitians living in the U.S. He said conditions related to the quake "have been largely ameliorated", according to a copy obtained by the Miami Herald. If she loses her job and insurance, she's afraid she'll be unable to continue visiting the doctor and could lose her eye entirely.

"We need to continue to push not only for them but for meaningful immigration reform and by that I mean a genuine path to citizenship that allows families to stay reunited or be reunited", Lang said.

"After careful review of the current conditions in Haiti and conversations with the Haitian government, I have made a decision to extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for a limited period of six months", Kelly said in a statement.

Instead of deciding on Haiti's fate on a case-by-case basis as senior officials said Monday, Haiti will now get lumped in with other countries whose citizens have their own unique stories and arguments for seeking TPS special protection.

In a letter to DHS Secretary John Kelly, Haiti's ambassador Paul Altidor wrote that "allowing TPS to expire before Haiti can absorb and support their return will cause an immediate increase in poverty in Haiti, as thousands of households will no longer have an economic lifeline". "Haiti is still in no condition to receive an estimated 58,000 people". Trump has also spoken disparagingly about border-crossers from other countries on the list, such as El Salvador and Honduras. According to a recent report from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, if Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti-the three countries with the largest number of TPS recipients-are all removed from the program, the USA economy would lose $45.2 billion over the next decade.

"We welcome this decision as a first step, but a first step only", said Irina Matiychenko, director of the Immigrant Protection Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group. "That is the way that the secretary is approaching TPS designations in this administration".

The Mayor's Office did not immediately comment on the TPS extension.