US Extends Temporary Legal Status to Haitian Immigrants

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
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WASHINGTON DC, – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended its Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for recipient citizens of six countries including Haiti.

In a statement, the DHS said the extension, that is also applicable to citizens of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan and Honduras is “to ensure its continued compliance” with orders from two ongoing court cases and was consistent with DHS practice over the past four years”.

According to the DHS, the document that was sent to the Federal Register, should be officially released on Wednesday.

Beneficiaries from the list of countries in question also are entitled to an automatic extension of their other TPS-related documentation , including  – I-94 Arrival/Departure Records and I-797 Notices of Action if they applied to re-register during one of the previous DHS-announced registration periods.

The TPS program provides beneficiaries with work permits and protects them from deportation if their country of origin experiences extraordinary events such as natural disasters or armed conflicts.

In response, Senator Alex Padilla who chairs a judiciary subcommittee on immigration, says the extension is a huge relief for those on the program.

He said the move is a step in the right direction but added that more permanent protections were needed.

Following the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on January 15 announced “the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010.

Created in 1990, TPS is a deportation relief program that can be extended to nationals of countries beset by armed conflict, natural disasters or other humanitarian crises.



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