Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Pierrot Mervilier center rear hugs a girl that did not wish to be identified living in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status
Pierrot Mervilier center rear hugs a girl that did not wish to be identified living in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status
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23 May, 2017

Individuals with TPS will have to leave at that point if the program is not extended or they can not obtain other authorization to stay, such as asylum. A final decision about the long-term fate of those immigrants will be decided at a later date. An April report from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center said the largest concentration of Haitians with temporary protected status were in South Florida.

The Haitians have had the special protected status since the catastrophic 7.0-magnitude quake, which destroyed a large portion of Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010.

More than 50,000 victims of Haiti's 2010 quake can remain in the United States until January, giving them time to prepare for a return to the Caribbean country in the new year, the Trump administration said on Monday. "Yes, you might say that there is a new government; that doesn't mean things are good in Haiti, as a matter of fact, the numbers are there, there is starvation declared and this is based on a United Nations report".

Tiffany Wheatland-Disu, community outreach manager at the New York Immigration Coalition, said an assessment of conditions in December supports "a full 18-month extension".

Kelly chose to extend TPS for six months ― until early next year.

The Homeland Security Department denied that criminal information would be used to determine whether the Haitians could stay in the United States, saying that department Secretary John Kelly simply wanted more information about program participants. 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.

Human rights groups and lawmakers had urged the administration to extend TPS for Haitians based on ongoing problems in that country in the wake of the 2010 quake, which killed up to 316,000 people and displaced 1.5 million. The decision affects more than 58,000 Haitians in the U.S. Haitians were granted the special status in 2010, after an natural disaster leveled buildings, displaced millions, and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

A senior DHS official told reporters that the Haitian government had let the USA know that they would like these TPS recipients to return back to their home.

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While not ideal, that gives advocates of an extended reprieve time to publicize the legitimate reasons it is warranted, and officials the chance to systematically review the evidence that Haiti is back on its feet, if not quite steady.

That's why some experts and Haitian officials worry that cutting off the designation may have ramifications beyond the immediate repatriation of tens of thousands of Haitians.

The decision is a mixed result for activists, who had pushed for an 18-month renewal, as has been granted in the past.

"We'll have to use this time to fight", Sassine said. "That order tried to take away all federal funding from sanctuary cities, and we can't trust this administration not to make good on its threats", San Francisco's City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. America needs a smart, compassionate deportation policy in cases where a safe return can't be guaranteed, or a home country cannot successfully reintegrate its own people.

The decision to extend TPS for only six months left some Haitians terrified about their future.

The Haitian community, lawmakers and the Haitian government have urged the Trump administration to leave the protections in place because they say the country is still not ready to take back immigrants who have been living overseas.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif) told FrontPageAfrica recently that said it is important for citizens from the three countries to begin making contact with the Department of Homeland Security to avoid embarrassment.


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