Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

AILA Gravely Concerned by Reports that USCIS Recommends Ending Protections for Haitian Nationals

 April 21, 2017

CONTACTS:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) expressed grave concern regarding reports that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is recommending that the United States end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals in January 2018. AILA President William A. Stock stated, “In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake’s devastating impact on Haitian infrastructure, the U.S. government offered temporary relief to Haitian nationals while they worked to rebuild their country. Since then, the country has continued to be ravaged by disease and political instability, which have been exacerbated by limited access to potable water, food, and medical services, and a lack of adequate housing. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti, further damaging the already fragile island nation. It is impossible to reconcile the notion that our government would consider ending in a few short months TPS for Haitians with the reality of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in a country that is still reeling from the effects of natural disaster.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, “The provision of a safe haven to those who would face dire conditions if forced to return to their home countries is fundamental to U.S. humanitarian policy. The bottom line is that conditions in Haiti have not improved to an extent that would remotely justify the end of TPS. The elimination of TPS for Haiti will not only create immense hardships for close to 47,000 Haitian individuals who have lived in the United States under the protection of this program for more than 7 years, it will also impact their children, many of whom are U.S. citizens, and their families back home, who rely on remittances for their basic needs. There is bipartisan support for extending Haiti TPS and it is not too late for DHS to act. Extending TPS for Haiti is simply the right thing to do.”

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

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