Secretary John Kelly declined to commit to extending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. during his short visit to Haiti on Wednesday. During his visit, Kelly met with the Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, senior government officials, Head of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré and MINUSTAH Military Commander Brazilian Lt. Gen. Ajax Porto Pinheiro.
Kelly’s visit came after his agency decided to only extend TPS for six months for Haitian nationals instead of the usual 18 months. This decision left Haitian TPS-holders wondering what is next for them after Jan. 2018. U.S. lawmakers, Haitians and immigration advocates, who wanted the status to be extended for 18 months, were disappointed by this decision.
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Homeland Security Chief Kelly leaves door open — slightly — for Haiti TPS
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
May 31, 2017
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was noncommittal about whether he would extend temporary immigration relief to thousands of Haitians living in the United States beyond January during a visit to Haiti Wednesday.
But the retired Marine Corps general and former commander of United States Southern Command seemed to leave the door open for discussions.
“I have committed to the president and the government that we can work together as we go forward on any future extensions,” Kelly said during a press conference at the National Palace after meeting with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, senior government officials, Head of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré and MINUSTAH Military Commander Brazilian Lt. Gen. Ajax Porto Pinheiro.
Kelly reminded Haitians that it’s been seven years since the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake, which triggered the use of the Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, program for Haiti.
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