President Obama Grants TPS to Haitian Nationals

January 16, 2010

On January 15, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010.

TPS would put a temporary hold on deportations of qualifying Haitian nationals present in the US, who would therefore not be sent back to devastated communities that could not support them. The powerful earthquake that hit Haiti, given the context of impoverishment and misery that affect the majority of Haitians, will translate into extreme hardship, even death, for millions of Haitian families for years to come.

US immigration laws authorize the Department of Homeland Security to grant TPS to citizens of countries that are affected by war, social unrest, or natural disaster. TPS has been granted to El Salvador, Guatemala, Kuwait, Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Bosnia, and other countries. However, until yesterday, even after the 2008 hurricanes, the federal government had not extended TPS to Haitians.

Haitians will be able to work in the US. These immigrants would therefore not only support themselves and contribute to our economy, but would also be able to earn money that they could send to their loved ones and home communities.