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The Biden administration has instituted a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals — and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti –currently residing in the United States as of May 21, to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
“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 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.”
The decision reinstates an Obama administration policy which dates back to the time of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
Donald Trump’s administration moved to end Haitians’ TPS status in 2019.
The Biden administration’s decision was widely applauded.
“The Biden Administration’s announcement that Haitians will be eligible for the lifeline of TPS is welcome news to many vulnerable families reeling from dire security, economic and human rights threats, all made worse by the pandemic and the lingering effects of the devastating earthquake,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “This important step is a testament to the courage of the Biden Administration and the relentlessness of many groups, including the U.S. Conference of Bishops, which has been speaking out in defense of the Haitian people since the last Administration’s cruel decision against Haiti in November 2017.
“Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration are committed to an immigration policy that is humane, logical and rooted in security and values. To that end, it is imperative that the Dream and Promise Act, passed by the House, is enacted, so that we can provide a path to permanent residence and eventual citizenship to TPS holders,” Pelosi added.
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