USA extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians for six months

USA extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians for six months

As part of a general crackdown on illegal immigration, the government has been deporting Haitians who do not have temporary protected status, raising protests from pro-immigrant groups.

Almost 60,000 Haitians who have been legally living in the United States for more than a decade could be deported if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chooses not to extend what is known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for them.

Performing at the same venue President Donald Trump visited on a campaign stop in September, the Haitian-born artist used his time onstage to ask the Trump administration to extend Haiti's Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.

Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat whose district includes Little Haiti in Miami, said Monday the decision was a "blessing for the Haitian community". (Indeed the Haitian diaspora in the United States sends about $1 billion a year back to Haiti in remittances.) "It is in the mutual interest of our two governments to renew TPS for Haitians for at least another 18 months", the letter concludes.

The 58,706 Haitians now benefiting from Temporary Protected Status, which allows them to live and work in the country legally, will be allowed to stay in the U.S. Under the extension, current beneficiaries are required to re-register and apply for new work documents that will expire on January 22, 2018. The judge rejected the claim that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said President Donald Trump can not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

The move is a small victory for immigrant-rights advocates who'd begged Secretary John F. Kelly to grant the extension, though department officials signaled this could be the last extension and Haitians under TPS should be ready to depart by early next year.

Kelly said in a statement that the decision was based on a "careful review of the current conditions in Haiti and conversations with the Haitian government".

He added that Haiti has made progress across several fronts since the devastating quake in 2010, and he is proud of the role the United States has played during this time in helping Haitians.

Advocates for Haitians also say conditions have not improved enough for Haitians to return home.

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Healey said her office would "continue to urge DHS to extend this status until Haiti, hard hit by natural disasters and public health crises, is able to support the return of these individuals and families now in MA and across the country".

There was no immediate comment from the Haitian government.

DHS officials said there was no decision yet on what would happen at the end of the six-month extension, but warned the Haitians to obtain new travel documents and "get their affairs in order".

"We're working with this particular organization because we think it's important", she said.

The evening's show was the first in a series of appearances Jean had scheduled this weekend in Miami, where the large Haitian-American community anxiously waits for the Trump Administration to decide whether to renew immigration benefits granted to Haitians after a 2010 natural disaster struck their Caribbean homeland.

Kelly says he has not made a final decision about the fate of the protection program for Haiti.

"Also indicative of Haiti's success in recovering from the quake seven years ago is the Haitian government's stated plans to rebuild the Haitian president's residence at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince and the withdrawal of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti". The Department of Homeland Security had been debating whether to issue another extension, and some top officials reportedly opposed it.

In a memo, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recommended that Kelly let the status expire but give those affected until January to leave the U.S.

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