The Biden administration will grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti for 18 months in a move that marks a key win for Democrats and immigration advocates.
The TPS will allow Haitians in the United States to obtain a work permit and stay in the U.S. in light of what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says are security concerns and other issues in Haiti.
“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayorkas said, according to The Hill. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”
The designation comes as Haiti currently faces crippling impacts from COVID-19, including human rights violations and political upheaval.
The country was granted TPS in 2010 following an earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people.
Nearly 100,000 Haitians could get the right to live and work in the U.S. as a result of the measure.
Sen. Bob Menedez, D-N.J. who serves as chair on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “The last thing our country should be doing is forcing an entire community in the U.S. to decide between packing up their lives and tearing their families apart by self-deporting, or becoming undocumented and forced into the shadows of our society.”
President Joe Biden has since granted TPS designation to Venezuela, Myanmar, and Syria.
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