In the wake of the devastating earthquake that has struck Haiti, the Obama administration has wisely suspended the deportation of Haitians. For years, however, many have called for the administration to designate Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") to Haitians, due to the series of natural disasters and political upheaval that have afflicted Haiti.
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of certain countries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the country) designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security because those countries are experiencing temporary negative conditions, such as armed conflict or environmental disasters, that make it difficult for the nationals to return safely or for the countries to accept their return. Individuals who are given TPS are granted a stay of removal and allowed to work in the US during the designated TPS period.
As one positive sign that TPS designation for Haitians may soon come to pass, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated the following Thursday on CBS’ Early Show:
“Well, we have, as you know, many Haitian Americans. Most are here legally. Some are not documented. And the Obama administration is taking steps to make sure that people are given some temporary status so that we don’t compound the problem that we face in Haiti.”
We urge that the Obama administration will grant TPS to Haitians very soon.