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Steven Forester, Immigration Advocacy Coordinator
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
firstname.lastname@example.org, (786) 877-6999
Deadline for Haitians to Apply for Temporary Protected Status Extended
IJDH Applauds USCIS Decision to Permit Filings Up To January 18, 2011
Miami, Florida. July 13, 2010 – The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) commends U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas for having extended the July 20, 2010 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) filing deadline for Haitians to January 18, 2011. Announced by the Director at a Miami meeting on July 12, the extension will enable many TPS-eligible Haitians to apply who have not yet been able to do so for lack of information, knowledge, or resources.
The Administration granted TPS shortly after the January 12 earthquake. Successful applicants are protected from deportation for 18 months and may apply for work authorization.
We also applaud the Director and his team for their responsiveness in the last six months to TPS implementation issues, and for welcoming during yesterday’s meeting the suggestion to create a “working group” to facilitate USCIS-legal provider cooperation in finding solutions to such and similar issues.
The Director also unexpectedly announced in Miami that the agency is considering expediting family reunifications by paroling 55,000 beneficiaries of already-approved immigrant visa petitions, as IJDH has been urging. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program to ensure orderly migration and save lives at sea. Creating a similar Haitian program – or otherwise paroling the 55,000 – would give parity and assist recovery efforts by creating an additional flow of remittances to an estimated 550,000 or more persons in devastated Haiti.
IJDH was one of many organizations urging extension of the TPS filing deadline, including Catholic Charities Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami; the Haitian Lawyers Association; Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services in Washington, D.C, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services in New York City, University of Miami School of Law Clinics, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center; and others. IJDH has also taken action in the area of Haitian TPS through the newly launched Haitian Immigration Pro Bono Project, a website connecting legal service providers with volunteer attorneys.
We commend USCIS Director Mayorkas and his leadership team for extending the deadline and for ongoing excellent interaction with the Haitian service provider community.
About the Organization:
The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) fights for human rights and justice in Haiti and for fair and just treatment of Haitians in the United States.