The Quixote Center is calling on the Biden administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians who will otherwise lose this status in February of 2023. We are also calling for the administration to redesignate the date for TPS so that all Haitians currently in the United States may apply. We explain below what TPS is and why we have joined with hundreds of other organizations led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance in making these demands. Take action on TPS here.
What is TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate Temporary Protected Status for a country if the Secretary determines that it is unsafe to return people to that country. Reasons that TPS may be designated include: “Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war); an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic; or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.”
If the United States designates a country for TPS, then nationals of that country who are already present in the United States on or before the date of designation are allowed to stay and work legally. TPS designations are typically good for 18 months. DHS decides at the end of each 18 month period whether or not to extend the TPS designation. TPS holders have to re-register to maintain their status.
People who are here under TPS are not eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Haiti and TPS
The Obama administration originally designated Haiti for TPS in the months following the earthquake in 2010. The Obama administration extended TPS every 18 months afterward because of the ongoing economic and political crises in Haiti. The Trump administration refused to extend the designation in 2017. Trump’s decision not to extend TPS for Haiti became part of a court case, Saget v Trump Plaintiffs accused the Trump administration of canceling TPS for Haiti and other countries for political reasons, ignoring the actual situation in those countries.
The only Haitians covered by Saget v Trump were those already present in the United States prior to the original designation date in 2011. Those TPS holders were allowed to continue working while the Federal court was in discussions with the Trump and Biden administrations.*
The Biden administration decided to “redesignate” Haiti for TPS on August 3, 2021 in response to enormous pressure from advocates. Haitians present in the country prior to August 3, 2021 were now protected from removal and could work legally. This was a huge victory, as it meant that TPS now covered Haitians who had arrived between 2011 and 2021.
Current demands: Extension and Redesignation
The current TPS designation for Haiti will expire on February 3, 2023. The Biden administration must extend TPS for Haiti for another 18 months or tens of thousands of Haitians already here will be at risk of deportation. This should be an easy call: the security situation in Haiti today is significantly worse than it was back in August 2021.
In addition, we are also asking that the administration move the current designation date forward into 2023, so that Haitians who arrived after August of 2021 are also able to apply for TPS. Moving the date forward is what we mean by “redesignating” TPS.
*The Biden administration ended the court case by extending TPS to Haiti and the other countries that were a part of Saget v Trump. However, this extension only applies to those Haitians who were covered by the original designation in 2011, and were thus plaintiffs in the case. This extension does not apply to those who arrived in the U.S. after 2011.
Contact your member of Congress and ask them to speak out in support of extending TPS for Haiti. We have created the Action below to make this easy. You also send a message directly to the White House: 202-456-1111.
Join us in calling on the Biden administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians who will otherwise lose their status in February 2023, putting them at risk of deportation. We are also calling for the administration to redesignate the date for TPS so that all Haitians currently in the U.S. may apply.
For more background on TPS is and why it is so important, click HERE.