Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti underscored the need to re-designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and to expand the severely limited Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP) to save lives and help Haiti recover by generating life-sustaining remittances.
A few days after the 2010 earthquake, the DepartÂment of HomeÂland SecuÂrity (DHS) desÂigÂnated Haiti for TPS because deportations were unsafe; in 2011, DHS re-designated TPS to protect those present in the United States by January 12, 2011. But no one who arrived thereafter is eligible, and DHS on September 22, 2016 announced that it would resume Haiti deportations. Thousands of Haitians who have arrived since then are now detained.
Hurricane Matthew’s broad devastation makes deporting anyone to Haiti unsafe and warrants re-designating Haiti TPS to protect all Haitians currently in the United States. Haiti’s government is in no position to receive deportees. Re-designation would save lives, unite families, and generate remittances key to sustaining families in Haiti.
Further, as outlined in the Miami Herald op-ed and in the October 20 letter from 51 Florida-based organizations and leaders, DHS should expand the arbitrarily limited HFRP. It should also immediately release from detention thousands of non-criminal Haitians detained since September 22.
IJDHâ€™s immigration advocacy is built on three decades of leadership in ensuring a safe haven in the U.S. for Haitiâ€™s persecuted. We seek creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program to save lives, reunite families, expedite orderly migration and speed recovery by increasing the flow of remittances to loved ones in Haiti. The Haiti Asylum Information Project (HAIP), established in 2004, has provided asylum applicants from across Haitiâ€™s political spectrum the expert testimony and country condition information they need to present strong cases. Our Stop Deportations Now Campaign, the platform for years-long Temporary Protected Status (TPS) advocacy in Congress, the media, and the streets led to the suspension of all non-criminal deportations to Haiti in early 2009 and facilitated the immediate grant of TPS to Haitians in the United States after Haitiâ€™s January 12, 2010 earthquake.
Â Expediting Haitian Family Reunification
IJDH leads nationwide advocacy urging the Obama administration to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP).Â Nearly 110,000 Haitians are beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already approved but who remain on wait lists of up to more than 12 years in Haiti, where many may not survive.Â A Cuban FRPP expedites family reunification for similarly-situated Cuban beneficiaries; IJDH has built extensive support and momentum for creation of a similar Haitian program. Our campaign succeeded on October 17, 2014, when DHS announced it would implement an HFRPP in early 2015 to expedite the entry into the U.S. of approved beneficiaries whose visas are within two years of becoming current. While thrilled with this development, which should help thousands, we will seek to expand coverage of the new program to include all DHS-approved beneficiaries in Haiti, many of whom are on wait lists of up to 12 years (not just two), and closely monitor its implementation to seek to insure its maximum effectiveness.
Click HERE for links to letters, resolutions, editorials, reports, petitions and op-eds urging creation of a Haitian FRPP to save lives and speed Haitiâ€™s recovery.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti
On JanÂuÂary 21, 2010, after years of IJDH advoÂcacy and a devÂasÂtatÂing earthÂquake nine days earÂlier, the DepartÂment of HomeÂland SecuÂrity (DHS) desÂigÂnated Haiti for TemÂpoÂrary ProÂtected StaÂtus (TPS) for 18 months. In May, 2011, DHS extended TPS for another 18 months to JanÂuÂary 22, 2013, and redesÂigÂnated it to include Haitians who had arrived in the United States by JanÂuÂary 12, 2011, one year after the quake. On OctoÂber 1, 2012, DHS extended TPS for Haiti for another 18 months, to July 22, 2014.Â Most recently, on March 3, 2014, DHS extended TPS for another 18 months, through January 22, 2016. As always, Haitians seekÂing TPS proÂtecÂtion and work authoÂrizaÂtion must apply indiÂvidÂuÂally, meetÂing eliÂgiÂbilÂity requireÂments described by DHSâ€™s United States CitÂiÂzenÂship and ImmiÂgraÂtion SerÂvices (USCIS).
TPS proÂtects most Haitians in the United States from deporÂtaÂtion to Haiti, and IJDH works with a broad range of advoÂcates to trouble-shoot TPS impleÂmenÂtaÂtion issues as they arise.
Haitian Asylum Information Project (HAIP)
The Haitian Asylum Information Project (HAIP) is an online resource library for asylum applicants and their lawyers. It contains key documents, contact information, and model pleadings to facilitate the filing of successful Haitian asylum cases.