Will the U.S. Extend Temporary Protected Status for Eligible Haitians?

What will happen to the Haitians currently in America on TPS if the TPS period ends?

In 2010, an earthquake rocked the nation of Haiti, devastating the infrastructure of the already struggling country.  It is estimated that somewhere between 100,000 and 220,000 people died in the quake, while many more were left homeless.  Recognizing the horrific state of the Haitian people after the earthquake, the United States government designated Haiti for temporary protected status (TPS), allowing eligible Haitians to apply if they were in the U.S. on or before January 12, 2010.  TPS was initially granted for 18 months, but has been extended ever since the earthquake.  Now, TPS is set to expire on July 22nd, 2017.  An end to TPS could leave 50,000 Haitian residents at risk of removal.  

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary Protected Status is granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security due to conditions within a country that temporarily prevent the county‚Äôs nationals from returning safely.  It can also be granted when a named country cannot handle the return of its nationals. TPS is often applied to a given country when there is an environmental disaster or armed conflict.  

During the designated TPS period, eligible individuals granted TPS will not be removable from the United States.  They can obtain employment authorization documents by filing I-765 Applications for Work Authorization and they may also be granted travel authorization. TPS is temporary and does not lead to lawful permanent resident status.  To be eligible for TPS, you must be a national of the country designated for TPS and have been physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the TPS.  Individuals with certain criminal convictions may be deemed ineligible.

Protecting Haitians Here on TPS

An estimated 50,000 Haitians are currently in the U.S. on TPS.  The vast majority of these individuals are employed and send significant contributions back to their relatives still in Haiti.  If the U.S. decides not to extend TPS, tens of thousands of Haitians could be removed, taking away productive members of our country and harming the Haitians relying on their U.S. relatives for support.  While Haiti continues to recover after the quake, it remains critically fragile.  Extending TPS would serve an important function in continuing to assist the nation of Haiti in its rebuilding efforts.

For more information, or to speak to one of the immigration and nationality lawyers or attorneys at the Nachman, Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., please feel free to e-mail us at info@visaserve.com or to call us at 201-670-0006 (x107).