Haiti is Finally Granted Temporary Protected Status

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The Biden administration announced plans to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to tens of thousands of Haitian migrants living in the United States without legal status.

The TPS status will remain in place for 18 months.

“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”

Those who qualify for TPS will be allowed to temporarily live and work in the United States if U.S. authorities conclude that circumstances in their country of origin are too dangerous to return.

In March, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and his Republican colleague, Marco Rubio, wrote a letter to Mayorkas, calling on the Biden administration to issue a new round of deportation protections.

“We write to express our deep concern about the complicated economic, security, and humanitarian challenges in Haiti and respectfully request that you consider redesignating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Haiti’s protracted political crisis exacerbates the severe and prolonged humanitarian needs sparked by the 2010 earthquake,” the senators wrote in a letter.

Last month, Democratic Rep. Albio Sires of New Jersey and Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida also sent a letter to Mayorkas detailing the unsafe issues in Haiti, like food insecurity, gender-based violence and political instability.

“This is what we have been asking for and fighting for, and now the recognition is there,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. Wilson has been urging the administration to take a firmer stance against the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse.

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