U.S. declares it will extend and expand temporary status to Haitians

The Biden administration said Monday that it would expand temporary legal status for Haitians already living in the United States

SAN DIEGO — Monday’s announcement by the Biden administration indicated that it will expand temporary legal status for Haitians living in the United States. It also stated that the government would determine if the conditions in the Caribbean country were too dangerous to allow them to return home.

According to the Homeland Security Department, Haitians who are in the United States on Nov. 6, can apply for Temporary Protected status. Those who were granted it last January could remain an additional 18-months until Aug. 3, 2024.

The Trump-era trend of reducing protections for immigrants already in the United States was reversed by the Obama administration, who extended temporary status to several countries. TPS, which is usually granted with authorization to work and comes with authorization, can be extended in increments of up to 18 months to countries that have been affected by natural disasters, civil strife, or other serious circumstances.

Since the July 2021 assassination, President Jovenel Moise was murdered in Haiti. Gangs have become more powerful and brazenly attacked Haiti. Due to an increase in malnutrition, a cholera epidemic is ravaging the country.

Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, stated that the conditions in Haiti include socioeconomic challenges and political instability. Gang violence and crime are exacerbated by environmental catastrophes. This is why we provide today’s humanitarian assistance.

The expansion is not expected to bring in many Haitians, according to Homeland Security. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2011, an estimated 40,000 were awarded TPS in 2011. The extension was extended to June 30, 2024. The Monday extension of 18 months covers another 3,200 people who received TPS last year.

The chaos in Haiti has led to a mass exodus to South America and Mexico. After approximately 16,000 mostly Haitian migrants stayed in Del Rio, Texas in September 2021, the U.S. flew many Haitians home. Trump-era rules that suspended asylum rights for those who wanted to stop the spread of COVID-19 were used by the Trump administration.

As conditions worsen, deportations to Haiti seem to have declined. Witness At the Border is an advocacy group that tracks deportations and said Monday that there has not been a single deportation flight to Haiti by the administration since Sept. 6.

Authorities announced that Haitians who arrive in the United States following Monday’s announcement will not be eligible for TPS. However, this may not deter many. In October, U.S. authorities arrested more than 6,700 Haitians at the Mexican border. This is an increase in the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border every month since September 2021.

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for an extension and expansion last week. He said that more than 100,000 Haitians would be eligible for temporary status as a result of Monday’s announcement.

He stated that “Providing temporary protection for Haitian nationals living in the United States is crucial as Haiti continues to face extreme conditions and deteriorating politics instability.”

Advocates thanked Biden’s administration.

Guerline Jozef (executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance) stated, “We rejoice with our Haitian brothers and stand undeterred by solidarity as we continue working with and for them.”

The Cato Institute, an advocate for open immigration laws, stated last week nearly 1,000,000 people are eligible under Biden’s TPS, more than twice the number under Trump.

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