In response to a group of 17 House Democrats and a coalition of more than 400 pro-immigrant and Haitian advocacy groups, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas has announced the extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. The extension of TPS runs from February 4, 2023, until August 3, 2024. The redesignation allows Haitian nationals living in the U.S. as of November 6, 2022, to apply for TPS through August 3, 2024, so long as they meet all applicable eligibility requirements.
However, Haitians who entered the U.S. after November 6, 2022, and those considering entering the country now are ineligible to apply for TPS. Those present without legal status or who attempt to enter without legal authority will be subject to removal and repatriation.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas cited Haiti’s socioeconomic and environmental crisis as justification for the extension and redesignation. In addition, Haiti is experiencing gang violence, crime, and political instability.
The DHS Secretary can grant TPS designations for up to 18 months to cover citizens or nationals of a particular country until a specific date. DHS also can grant extensions of TPS, which prolong TPS benefits, and redesignations, which set new cutoff dates for individuals to apply for TPS benefits. Redesignations typically allow additional individuals to qualify for benefits under the TPS program.
DHS originally designated Haiti for TPS in 2010 due to an earthquake and summarily extended the designation until officials attempted to end most TPS designations during the Trump administration. Litigation shut down Trump’s efforts, and DHS redesignated Haiti for TPS during the Biden administration, setting a new cutoff date of July 29, 2021. The designation of TPS for individuals affected by the ongoing litigation was extended until 2024.
The Biden administration has come under fire for its policies toward Haiti regarding support for the Haitian government and the repatriation of Haitian nationals. In October, both the U.S. and Canada sent armored vehicles to support Haiti’s government led by Ariel Henry, acting president and prime minister, even amid accusations that the government was conspiring with criminal gangs. The Biden administration also has repatriated at least 25,000 Haitians, in most cases under a Trump administration border policy that allowed the U.S. to deny Haitians the right to apply for asylum.
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