Diaspora

U.S. extends migrant protections for Haiti, 5 other countries – The Spokesman Review

Nov. 11, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 11, 2022 at 8:58 p.m.
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will extend immigration protections for some Haitians and nationals from five other countries for another 18 months, a development that comes as economic, political and social instability rocks Haiti.
Eligible nationals from Haiti and El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Sudan and Nepal living in the United States will be able to keep their Temporary Protected Status-related documents until at least June 30, 2024. The program shields people from countries in turmoil who are living in the United States from deportation and allows them to legally work.
The Department of Homeland Security “is well aware of the importance of Temporary Protected Status in providing stability to people’s lives,” said an agency spokesman in a statement following the filing of a federal register notice that announced the extension on Thursday evening, and which is scheduled to be published on Nov. 16.
U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services said in a congressional report that as of the end of 2021 there were about 241,700 TPS holders from El Salvador, followed by over 76,000 from Honduras and over 53,000 from Haiti. Nicaragua had 4,250 beneficiaries.
The document from Citizenship and Immigration Services says the TPS extension complies with federal court orders in ongoing litigation.
Among them is Ramos v. Nielsen, a case where TPS participants from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Sudan contested the Trump-era termination of the program for their home countries.
“This Federal Register Notice is consistent with DHS’s practice over the last four years in complying with the preliminary injunction in the Ramos litigation and court orders in related cases,” said the spokesman.
Prior to Thursday’s extension, documents such as work authorization documents for TPS beneficiaries from the six countries would no longer be valid as of the end of this year.
Haiti received TPS following a devastating earthquake in January 2010 and received a new TPS designation in August 2021. Haiti is currently experiencing massive unrest as gangs have been blocking fuel, food, and water from reaching residents. In July 2021 President Jovenel Moise was assassinated, and weeks later a large earthquake struck the southern parts of the Caribbean country, killing over 2,200 people.
The TPS designation applies only to Haitians living in the U.S. before July 29, 2021, and eligible nationals from the Caribbean country can apply for the protection until Feb. 3, 2023. In late October, over a dozen U.S. senators had called on the Biden administration to redesignate Haiti’s TPS so more Haitians could benefit from the immigration protections.
About 155,000 people are eligible to apply for TPS under Haiti’s designation, according to an August 2021 federal register notice.
Milena Mayorga, El Salvador’s ambassador to the United States, celebrated the news on her Twitter feed Friday morning.
“Our embassy has had a very active agenda with the Biden administration, Congress, and pro-immigration organizations,” she said, “We are seeking to join forces with various organizations for this common purpose of TPS.”
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