JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-May 4, 2017- The deadline to extend the Temporary Protected Status program, or a program temporalily granting refugees asylum from their home country, is in a few weeks. It’s up to the Trump administration to extend it.
Over 55,000 refugees from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti face possible deportation when the TPS expires July 22.
TPS, created in 1990, offers temporary immigration in the United States under the following circumstances:
- Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
- An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
Since 2010, TPS has been renewed 3 times in 18-month-intervals under the Obama Administration. The deadline to extend is approaching later this month.
With the Trump Administration’s ongoing battle against immigration laws since Donald Trump took office in January, many in Capitol Hill and Haitian families are anxiously awaiting the decision.
It is estimated over 300,000 were killed in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Haiti has had trouble rebuilding the nation, with roughly 2 million residents homeless and/or living in displaced and deplorable conditions.
Late last year Hurricane Matthew destroyed the county yet again, initially killing over 1000 and a Cholera outbreak claiming 9000 more lives.
Government officials have hinted there will be no reauthorization, namely James McCament, director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who wishes to only extend reauthorization to January 2018 for an “orderly transition”.
Critics are outraged by the possible discontinuation of the program, mainly because Haiti simply cannot support over 55,000 refugees. Almost all have established lives in the US and have beneficiaries who may be able to stay behind.
TPS is offered to 13 countries: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.