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  • The Biden Administration Has Advanced Deportation Relief To 309,000 Haitians

The Biden Administration Has Advanced Deportation Relief To 309,000 Haitians

The Biden team plans to help over 309,000 Haitians already in the United States by letting them stay and work longer with deportation protections and work visas. The US Department of Homeland Security disclosed this on Friday, June 28th, 2024.

The US government is also letting more Haitians stay until February 2026 because of ongoing violence and safety concerns in Haiti, which make it harder to access safety, health care, food, and water. In other words, Haitian immigrants can stay in the country for another 18 months under the TPS program.

This is because Haitians comprise the largest number of people moving to Massachusetts.

What is the TPS program?

Congress set up the TPS program in 1990 to stop people from being sent back to countries hit by natural disasters or wars. The head of Homeland Security can temporarily let people from different countries stay in the US based on how bad things are back home. Usually, this is for a set time, and folks must show they meet the requirements to stay.

This also lets them try to get a work permit. The TPS program lets people legally stay in the US and work, but it doesn’t clearly give them a way to become citizens. They have to depend on the government to maintain their status, which means they don’t have much stability.

Some conservative critics have also pointed out that the government renews these protections over time without really checking whether conditions in the person’s home country have improved.

Why the new deportation reliefs?

Different areas in Haiti are still dealing with violence or a lack of safety, and many struggle to get access to protection, medical care, food, and clean water. Haiti is especially vulnerable to floods and landslides and frequently suffers from severe harm from hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

These combined humanitarian issues have led to continuous critical humanitarian needs. The Temporary Protected Status period for Haiti was scheduled to end on Aug. 4, but last week, it was extended until Feb. 3, 2026, by the Department of Homeland Security.

Under Temporary Protected Status, immigrants are allowed to work in the US and are protected from being sent back to their home country due to their immigration status. According to Pat Baker, a senior policy advocate at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, about 95% of immigrants entering Massachusetts in the last year and a half are from Haiti.

Over the last year and a half, Massachusetts has seen a surge in new residents, many of whom have found refuge in the state’s emergency family housing program. Around 8,500 Haitians are currently residing in Massachusetts’s shelter system. This extension is necessary due to exceptional and temporary situations in Haiti.

It offers compassionate support to Haitians already in the US because of the conditions in their home country as of June 3, 2024. The extension notice issued highlights Haiti’s concurrent economic, security, political, and health challenges as among the factors leading to the Biden Administration’s decision to extend this program.

It has been reported that gangs have taken over the streets, leading to increased crime and violence. The TPS proclamation also points to the impact of environmental disasters on the economy and political turmoil as the reasons behind the exodus from Haiti.

What is the deportation relief about?

Advocates for immigrants have been urging the Biden administration to grant temporary protected status to Haitians who have just arrived in the US since violence erupted there earlier this year, leading to the President of Haiti fleeing the nation and stepping down from office.

This past spring, as Haitians were forced to leave due to the violence, the government proceeded with deportations of those intercepted at sea. It declared that it had no intentions of extending temporary protected status to more Haitians.

The US has previously extended temporary protected status to Haitians who came to the US before the 2010 earthquake and has continued to extend this status to them as late as 2022. The announcement on Friday would protect an additional 309,000 Haitians currently residing in the US from being sent back, as stated by the Department of Homeland Security.

Immigration advocates believe this move would increase the number of Haitians in the US enjoying protected status to approximately 500,000.

Application of the deportation relief

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program will be extended to Haitians currently protected under this status. Additionally, this extension will enable Haitians residing in the US since the start of the month to seek initial TPS status. The extension period begins on August 4 and continues until February 3, 2026.

The Federal Register notice released on Friday details the application process for TPS. To stay updated and informed, check our news section or visit their website.

The Biden Administration Has Advanced Deportation Relief To 309,000 Haitians

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