The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian immigrants who have sought refuge in the United States, giving these immigrants a chance to build better, more stable lives away from the instability and poor health conditions that have plagued Haiti since the earthquake of 2010.
TPS is a designation given by the Department of Homeland Security to citizens of countries that suffer from long-term political unrest or oppression, environmental disasters with long-term effects, or other extraordinary circumstances that make returning to these countries unsafe. Alongside Haiti, certain residents of South Sudan, Syria, and five other countries are eligible for TPS.
In addition to providing protection, TPS also gives recipients the right to apply for employment authorization so that they can work in the United States and send money home to family members. This extension of TPS will expire on July 22, 2014.
While LIRS celebrates the extension of TPS for Haitian migrants, the administration continues to deport migrants to Haiti and there are approximately 112,000 Haitians who had already been approved to join family members in the United States. LIRS has urged Congress and the Administration to consider these tools of migration policy to help Haiti continue to rebuild.
We thank the Obama administration for taking this important step to protect Haitian immigrants and refugees, and encourage more action to halt removals and speed up the family reunification process.