FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Steve Forester, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Immigration Policy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org , +786, 877, 6999 (U.S.; English, Creole).
HAITIAN TPS EXTENDED AND REDESIGNATED
DHS Secretary Napolitano today announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. Effective July 23, 2011, this will allow TPS beneficiaries to remain in the United States through January 22, 2013.
Secretary Napolitano also redesignated Haiti for TPS, advancing the eligibility date by a year, meaning that eligible Haitians who have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2011 may also apply for TPS. This will enable thousands of post-quake arrivals, many evacuated by U.S. forces, to apply for TPS and work permits.
The Administration deserves thanks for these timely and generous decisions.
In a stakeholder’s call this morning, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Director Alejandro Mayorkas said application details will be announced shortly. In a question, Haitian Women of Miami Executive Director Marleine Bastien thanked him and DHS counselor John Sandweg but asked when the Administration will also create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, like the ongoing Cuban program, to start paroling beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions now on a years-long wait list in Haiti.
Creating such a program or starting to parole DHS-approved Haitian beneficiaries, to reunite families and help Haiti recover by generating a significant remittance flow, remains a key Haitian American community goal on which IJDH has led the way. It is supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Philadelphia’s city council, U.S. senators and representatives from both parties, ten major editorial boards and many others.
Advocates nationwide who joined IJDH in urging TPS extension and redesignation deserve recognition including advocates at Catholic Charities Legal Services in Miami, Washington, and New York; at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute; and at other agencies and pro bono firms. This was a truly joint effort.
At least two immigration goals remain: the parole of Haitian approved beneficiaries and stopping resumed removals of persons with underlying criminal convictions. As of November 1, 2010, there were 102,193 approved beneficiaries on a wait list in Haiti of up to 11 years, of whom for example 16,216 — the minor children and spouses of legal permanent residents – have an average wait time of four years.
But today’s TPS announcement is an extremely welcome development on which the Administration is to be highly commended.
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