Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held a teleconference with stakeholders to discuss the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in the United States. DHS grants TPS if nationals from certain countries cannot safely return because of an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS beneficiaries can obtain work authorization and travel authorization. In addition to Haiti, the following countries have TPS: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan.
DHS originally designated Haitians for TPS in January 2010 in the wake of the devastating earthquake that destroyed the nation’s capital. On May 17, 2011 DHS extended TPS for another 18 months. This announcement also permits additional Haitians who have continuously resided in the United States since January 12, 2011 to obtain TPS provided they meet all other Haiti TPS eligibility criteria. This policy will ensure that the estimated 10,000 Haitians who came to the United States in the year after the earthquake will also be able to gain protection. On today’s call, DHS confirmed that they have already received 2,250 applications for TPS over the last few weeks, and they expect to receive many more before the filing deadline.
LIRS strongly supports the extension of TPS for Haitians as a step toward creating a world of just and welcoming communities.