DHS extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitian earthquake refugees

| Sep 25, 2012 | Deportation and Removal |

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly extending Temporary Protected Status for roughly 60,000 Haitians who were displaced by the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, according to a report in the Miami Herald. Federal officials are expected to publish notice of the extension this week in the Federal Register.

The extension will allow the roughly 60,000 Haitians to re-register with immigration officials for TPS. The extension will allow those who re-register to remain in the United States for an additional 18 months.

The immigration benefits for Haitian earthquake refugees were set to expire in January. Many commentators believed that the TPS extension would occur sometime before the expiration, but exactly when in the political environment of an election year made the exact timing of when the extension would be granted somewhat of a speculative venture. Commentators and advocates generally have applauded the extension, but some still have concerns, according to the Herald.

Some advocates say that Haitians continue to be deported despite issues in Haiti that remain in the aftermath of the earthquake, including a sluggish economy and a cholera outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives.

Here in the states, advocates lament delays in reunification parole for thousands of Haitian families. Sources say that 112,000 Haitians families are in the pipeline for reunification, but DHS policy has not allowed those Haitians already approved to join their family members who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. A large number of the people awaiting reunification with family are minors-sources estimate that the numbers involve around 15,800 minors.

When DHS publishes the notice of the extension in the Federal Register, Haitians will have 60 days to re-register for Temporary Protected Status.

Source: Miami Herald, “Haitians displaced by quake will be allowed to stay in U.S. an extra 18 months,” Sep. 24, 2012

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