Press Release: Haitian Temporary Protected Status Extended and Redesignated (IJDH)

Posted on May 17, 2011


Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

17 May 2011



Steve Forester, Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti Immi­gra­tion Pol­icy Coor­di­na­tor, , +786, 877, 6999 (U.S.; Eng­lish, Creole).


DHS Sec­re­tary Napoli­tano today announced an 18-month exten­sion of Tem­po­rary Pro­tected Sta­tus for Haitians. Effec­tive July 23, 2011, this will allow TPS ben­e­fi­cia­ries to remain in the United States through Jan­u­ary 22, 2013.

Sec­re­tary Napoli­tano also redes­ig­nated Haiti for TPS, advanc­ing the eli­gi­bil­ity date by a year, mean­ing that eli­gi­ble Haitians who have con­tin­u­ously resided in the U.S. since Jan­u­ary 12, 2011 may also apply for TPS. This will enable thou­sands of post-quake arrivals, many evac­u­ated by U.S. forces, to apply for TPS and work permits.

The Admin­is­tra­tion deserves thanks for these timely and gen­er­ous decisions.

In a stakeholder’s call this morn­ing, U.S. Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Ser­vice Direc­tor Ale­jan­dro May­orkas said appli­ca­tion details will be announced shortly. In a ques­tion, Hait­ian Women of Miami Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Mar­leine Bastien thanked him and DHS coun­selor John Sandweg but asked when the Admin­is­tra­tion will also cre­ate a Hait­ian Fam­ily Reuni­fi­ca­tion Parole Pro­gram, like the ongo­ing Cuban pro­gram, to start parol­ing ben­e­fi­cia­ries of approved immi­grant visa peti­tions now on a years-long wait list in Haiti.

Cre­at­ing such a pro­gram or start­ing to parole DHS-approved Hait­ian ben­e­fi­cia­ries, to reunite fam­i­lies and help Haiti recover by gen­er­at­ing a sig­nif­i­cant remit­tance flow, remains a key Hait­ian Amer­i­can com­mu­nity goal on which IJDH has led the way. It is sup­ported by the U.S. Con­fer­ence of May­ors, Philadelphia’s city coun­cil, U.S. sen­a­tors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both par­ties, ten major edi­to­r­ial boards and many others.

Advo­cates nation­wide who joined IJDH in urg­ing TPS exten­sion and redes­ig­na­tion deserve recog­ni­tion includ­ing advo­cates at Catholic Char­i­ties Legal Ser­vices in Miami, Wash­ing­ton, and New York; at the Mass­a­chu­setts Law Reform Insti­tute; and at other agen­cies and pro bono firms. This was a truly joint effort.

At least two immi­gra­tion goals remain: the parole of Hait­ian approved ben­e­fi­cia­ries and stop­ping resumed removals of per­sons with under­ly­ing crim­i­nal con­vic­tions. As of Novem­ber 1, 2010, there were 102,193 approved ben­e­fi­cia­ries on a wait list in Haiti of up to 11 years, of whom for exam­ple 16,216 — the minor chil­dren and spouses of legal per­ma­nent res­i­dents – have an aver­age wait time of four years.

But today’s TPS announce­ment is an extremely wel­come devel­op­ment on which the Admin­is­tra­tion is to be highly commended.


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Posted in: Haiti, Imperialism, US