FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017
Contact: Jareyah Bradley, jareyah [at] balestramedia.com, 908.242.4822
Immigrant Legal Resource Center on Trump Administration’s Renewal of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Immigrants Through January 2018
After Immense Grassroots Pressure, Administration Temporarily Continues Haitian TPS
Today, following immense grassroots pressure, the Department of Homeland Security decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haitians in the United States for a period of 6 months, still leaving over 50,000 residents vulnerable to deportation next year. This designation, in place for seven years, allows Haitian immigrants and refugees to live and work in the U.S legally given the safety issues in their home country following the 2010 earthquake, subsequent cholera epidemic and last year’s Hurricane Matthew.
Recently, the Associated Press obtained internal emails showing that the Trump administration has been scouring for any evidence that they can use against Haitian immigrants, including crime data and use of public benefits.
Said Jose Magaña Salgado, managing policy attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
“The Trump's Administration's decision to renew TPS for 6 months is a bittersweet victory for the Haitian community and the grassroots activists who engaged in an unprecedented campaign to pressure DHS Secretary Kelly. We appreciate the administration acting to renew this status because of the continued need of our Haitian neighbors and on the ground realities in their home countries.”
“However, the Haitian community continues to be forced to live in limbo, planning their lives out only a few months at a time. We strongly urge the administration to grant a full 12-18 month extension of TPS for Haitians once the designation is up for review later this year. The ILRC, immigrants and local community members will continue to work with the Administration on future renewals for Haitians as well as other individuals who cannot safely return to their home countries of El Salvador and Honduras. TPS, at its core, is a humanitarian decision and not an immigration one.”
The report “Economic Contributions by Salvadoran, Honduran and Haitian TPS Holders,” released by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center last month, shows that deporting current Haitian TPS holders would cost our nation more than $450 million; lead to a GDP reduction of $2.8 billion over a decade; and incur $428 million in lost Social Security and Medicare contributions over a decade.
The Obama administration regularly extended TPS for Haiti, with the latest extension made effective on January 23, 2016, and ending on July 22, 2017. Secretary Jeh Johnson premised extension of TPS on the argument that Haitians present in the country since 2010 can still not safely return. Specifically, the Secretary found that “[m]any of the conditions prompting the original January 2010 TPS designation and the May 2011 redesignation persist, including a housing shortage, a cholera epidemic, limited access to medical care, damage to the economy, political instability, security risks, limited access to food and water, a heightened vulnerability of women and children, and environmental risks.”
About the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC’s mission is to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org