The Biden Administration has announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in the United States, noting the deteriorating conditions in the Caribbean nation, which has faced political instability, food insecurity and an outbreak of violence in recent months.
Here’s the news in a nutshell.
Here Are The Details
The Biden administration first designated TPS for Haitians in May 2021. It’s now been extended for an additional 18 months through Aug. 3, 2024. Monday’s announcement also re-designated Haiti for TPS. The re-designation will allow Haitian nationals already living in the United States as of November 6, 2022, to apply for TPS through Aug. 3, 2024, if they meet the eligibility requirements. The decision will reportedly benefit up to 100,000 Haitians.
In a statement released on Monday, DHS said that the “prolonged political crisis” in Haiti, gang violence, a lack of fuel, food, and water, and an increase in cholera cases were all reasons for expanding the TPS program for Haitians.
“We are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to Haitian nationals already present in the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The conditions in Haiti, including socioeconomic challenges, political instability, and gang violence and crime – aggravated by environmental disaster – compelled the humanitarian relief we are providing today.”
What Does TPS Status Mean?
Federal officials designate TPS for immigrants from nations experiencing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other humanitarian emergencies. It was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. The program doesn’t grant participants ongoing legal standing.
TPS is currently available to nationals of 16 nations, including immigrants from Venezuela, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Ukraine, all of whom were granted eligibility under President Biden.
Here’s What Else You Should Know
The Biden administration has previously faced backlash for its treatment of Haitian migrants. In the fall of 2021 news footage showing mounted border patrol agents charging their horses at and appearing to whip at Haitian migrants in the small Texas town of Del Rio caused a major uproar and calls for change. An investigation revealed that the agents had dispersed Haitian migrants using unnecessary force. However, it did not find evidence that the agents struck anyone with their reins. Following the events in Del Rio, the US started deporting a large number of Haitians.
Since the beginning of the year, the majority of Haitians who have crossed into the country have been granted entry at authorized ports of entry, where the Biden administration has been granting humanitarian exceptions to Title 42, a public health order that allows the United States to deport particular migrants.