Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

Trump admin to extend protections for Haitians 6 months

TPS is an 18-month status provided to foreign nationals who can not return safely to their homes because of unsafe conditions in their countries such as armed conflicts, environmental disasters or epidemics.

In a press statement, Kelly added that the USA government officials plans to "work closely with the Haitian government" to help Haitians obtain the travel documents they need to move back.

The DHS in its statement issued Monday urged Haitian TPS recipients who do not have another immigration status to use the time before January 22, 2018 to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States - including proactively seeking travel documentation - or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible. "We invited the Haitian diaspora and worldwide community to participate in the storm, during which we tagged the Department of Homeland Security and urged followers to call the agency to demand that the program be saved". In April, James W. McCament, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recommended that TPS designation for Haiti be terminated.

His union and others in the Orlando hospitality industry are planning a rally near Universal Studios to demand that the Trump administration grant a long-term TPS renewal.

DHS officials said there was no decision yet on what would happen at the end of the six-month extension, but warned the Haitians to obtain new travel documents and "get their affairs in order".

Instead of deciding on Haiti's fate on a case-by-case basis as senior officials said Monday, Haiti will now get lumped in with other countries whose citizens have their own unique stories and arguments for seeking TPS special protection. He cited multiple signs of progress including the closing of the vast majority of camps for displaced residents, the plan to rebuild the Haitian president's residence in Port-au-Prince and the withdrawal of the United Nations stabilization mission.

The decision, made by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, was announced Monday and will be followed up by an official notice in the Federal Register, which will start the clock for recipients to apply for their six-month extension.

Kelly noted that Haiti's economy continues to recover and that 98 percent of makeshift camps that sprang up after the natural disaster have closed. Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed. Although officials didn't cite more recent catastrophic events by name, Haiti has been overwhelmed by major events since 2010, including a cholera epidemic that has killed at least 9,500 people; Hurricane Matthew; and food insecurity issues. Immigration authorities have extended the program three times since.

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"Haiti obviously has many issues, and I spoke to Secretary Kelly when he was up here about our concerns about this issue, and the fact that they've put a delay in place I think is a good thing", he told reporters.

Bastien's father is a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

That drew applause from Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Gwen Graham and Andrew Gillum.

The Haitian-American community, lawmakers and the Haitian government have urged the Trump administration to leave the protections in place, saying the country is still not ready to take back immigrants who have been living overseas.

Tens of thousands of Haitian refugees living in Florida received another six months to stay, news that some political leaders - primarily Democrats - are hailing as a victory. "Six months at a time in this particular instance is what the Secretary felt was appropriate given the conditions on the ground in Haiti".

South Floridians with ties to Haiti and elected officials with lots of Haitian-American constituents said there hasn't been much progress on recovery.

Kelly said in a public statement that conditions in Haiti are improving and that this may be the final extension.

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