Trump administration to end provisional residency protection for 50000 Haitians

Marco Rubio: 'Extend TPS for Haitians in the United States'

Six months after then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly announced the extension of Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for only six months (until January 2018, when he would reevaluate the determination), Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the designation with a delayed effective date of 18 months.

But the official, one of several authorized to brief reporters, said that Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, after extensive research and input from US and Haitian government officials, as well as experts, had "assessed overall that extraordinary temporary conditions" that justified the designation in the first place, "had sufficiently improved such that they no longer prevent nationals of Haiti from returning". As a result, former President Barack Obama's administration renewed the Temporary Protected Status program until the country could regain its economic footing.

But the administration official who briefed reporters said Duke is bound by the statute, which allows TPS to be renewed only if the conditions that triggered it in the first place remain.

"Since the 2010 natural disaster, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent", the department noted.

The Department of Homeland Security had considered ending TPS for Haitians in May.

State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian-American Democrat from Boston, said the decision gives Haitians some respite because of the 18-month extension.

However, the decision has been criticized by Haitian advocates who say that living conditions in Haiti have not improved almost enough for Haitians to be deported from the U.S.

He added that Duke also solicited input from the congressional delegation in Florida, which has a large number of Haitian TPS beneficiaries.

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Acting Secretary Duke met with Haitian Foreign Minister Antonio Rodrigue and Haitian Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor recently in Washington to discuss the issue.

Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-In-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society says that once the TPS re-registration period is announced in the coming days, affected Haitians will be able to contact The Legal Aid Society at (844) 955-3425 or [email protected] to schedule a renewal appointment, "at which we will also screen applicants for other, hopefully, more permanent forms of immigration relief". Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called publicly last week for their protected status to be extended.

The federal government rarely has canceled TPS designations once granting them.

A decision on El Salvador's status, which was given TPS after its 2001 quake, is due in January.

That's why I continue to urge the administration to extend Haiti's TPS designation for 18 more months.

The problem is that Haiti hasn't recovered much in the past seven years.

"Besides the human toll on Haitian TPS recipients and their families, it will be costly for their employers, ruinous to the up and coming neighborhoods where they often live, and destablilizing to their countries of origin", Saenz said. Meanwhile, those who stayed in Haiti are anxious about what will happen to fragile Haitian economy when this decision dents the money sent home from the mainland, which accounts for an estimated 25% of Haiti's GDP.

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