The Biden administration on Saturday announced it is granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals who are currently living in the U.S. for 18 months amid ongoing security concerns, poverty and human rights abuses in the country.
TPS protects nationals of designated countries living in the U.S. from potential deportation if they are eligible and also allows them to apply for work permits, as well as giving them the freedom to travel. Those eligible for the Haitian TPS designation need to be in the country as of May 21.
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“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”
BuzzFeed News, which first reported the development, reported that it would potentially affect more than 100,000 Haitian nationals.
DHS cited the country’s recent political crisis, as well as an economic situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the 2010 earthquake as reasons for the designation. It will apply to some Haitians who have been in the U.S. since 2010.
“The designation of Haiti f
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