NEWLY GRANTED STATUS WOULD ALLOW OVER 30,000 HAITIAN IMMIGRANTS CURRENTLY IN THE UNITED STATES TO AVOID DEPORTATION FOR 18 MONTHS
As part of the Administration’s response to the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Administration announced on January 15, 2009, that it would grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals currently in the United States.
Temporary protected status (TPS) grants temporary protection from deportation to nationals of a country in which environmental events or political or economic conditions have occurred which make it temporarily unsafe to deport them. TPS has been granted to nationals of many countries including those of Nicaragua and Honduras in 1999 following Hurricane Mitch, and of El Salvador in 2001 following severe earthquakes.
Almost immediately after the magnitude of the disaster began to be realized, the NAACP reached out to the Administration and strongly urged President Obama to grant TPS to Haitian nationals in the United States. Granting TPS to Haitian refugees is part of a longer-term strategy to help Haiti recover from the horrors of January 12, as Haitians in the United States can obtain work permits and thus increase the already significant flow of remittances to their family and friends back home. Haitians who receive that aid are more likely to stay and rebuild Haiti. Many depend on those remittances for their very survival. That flow of dollars is among the best foreign aid that the United States can provide, and it costs taxpayers nothing. Strengthening Haiti’s economy will be the only sure way to ensure that more Haitians will not risk their lives on a perilous oversea journey to the United States. Granting Haitians TPS would also directly assist Haiti’s nascent democracy in its efforts to recover from these conditions, stabilize the country’s economy, rebuild its political and economic institutions, and provide a future of hope for Haiti’s people. Lastly, TPS is being extended only to those Haitians currently residing in the United States, so any concerns about a mass exodus to the US are unfounded.