The Biden administration announced it would extend the immigration protections for Haitians from deportation from the United States for 18 months.
The extension will also include the ability to work in the country.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the administration would extend and redesignate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after it expires on Feb. 4.
Haitians that meet all eligibility requirements will be granted an extension until Aug. 3, 2024, to “extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti.”
As The Epoch Times reported:
The decision means that Haitians in the United States who already had TPS protections will now be able to live and work in the country for an extended period through Aug. 3, 2024. It also opens up eligibility for those who entered the country too late to apply. TPS does not provide those eligible with a path to permanent residency.
TPS was established by Congress in 1990 and provided temporary protections for immigrants from certain designated countries if it is deemed unsafe for them to return to their home countries owing to a variety of reasons, such as natural disasters, armed conflict, or other humanitarian crises.
Reuters reported that an estimated 264,000 would be granted the extended TPS. That figure includes 101,000 who have TPS status, and 53,000 have pending applications, according to the DHS.
A further 110,000 more recent arrivals would benefit from the extension and avoid deportation, according to Reuters.
Former President Donald Trump sought to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to combat the border crisis, but due to legal challenges, his attempts failed.
Under Biden, however, the U.S. extended TPS for hundreds of thousands of people from Ukraine, Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal.
Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, reported nearly 1 million people—approximately 986,881—are eligible for TPS under Biden – a figure more than double than it was under Trump.
“We are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to Haitian nationals already present in the United States,” said Mayorkas.
“The conditions in Haiti, including socioeconomic challenges, political instability, and gang violence and crime—aggravated by environmental disaster—compelled the humanitarian relief we are providing today.”
Biden administration officials have since called on U.S. allies to deploy troops to Haiti to prevent a massive migration event.
On Monday, the Biden administration noted the decision to extend the TPS was taken after “consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti,” which included a “prolonged political crisis; grave insecurity and gang crime that worsened a dire economic situation; a lack of access to food, water, fuel, and health care during a resurgence of cholera; and the recent catastrophic earthquakes.”