Published On: Fri, Jun 2nd, 2017

US sticking to decision to end temporary immigration status for Haitians

Human rights advocates and other international non-governmental organizations have been pressuring us authorities to grant Haitians an 18-month extension to get their house in order.

haitians-tpsWASHINGTON – The United States appears unmoved by demands from thousands of Haitians living there for an extension of their temporary immigration status.

Following an hour-long discussion involving US Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti Sandra Honoré, and other officials in Port-au-Prince last week, the January deadline for their departure remained in place.

Kelly gave no firm commitment that he would authorize another extension, stressing that the law was meant to be temporary.

“What I am dealing with in the United States relative to the TPS [Temporary Protected Status] is US law and how to execute US law,” he said.

“The operative word in the law is ‘temporary.’ It’s not meant to be an open-ended law, but a temporary law, and I elected to extend TPS for the country of Haiti by six months, which makes it terminate eight months from now.”

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security said any decision on future extensions or terminations would come at a future date, but Haitians were warned to begin making preparations to return to their homeland.

Human rights advocates and other international non-governmental organizations have been pressuring US authorities to grant Haitians an 18-month extension to get their house in order.

They argue that Haiti, which is still on the mend after being ravaged by Hurricane Matthew just eight months ago, cannot accommodate the close to 60,000 nationals set to return.

The United States granted TPS after the January 12, 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people.

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