The United States Extends Temporary Deportation Protection To Haitians | Human Rights News

The Department of Homeland Security announced Saturday that the United States will expand temporary protection against deportation for Haitians already in the country, a move welcomed by immigration advocates as “long overdue.”

TPS protects immigrants from designated countries from deportation and grants them work permits in the United States on the grounds that it would be unsafe to return them to their home countries due to a crisis, such as armed conflict or natural disasters.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorcas said the new appointment of 18 months will apply to Haitians living in the United States from May 21, who also meet other eligibility criteria. statement.

“Haiti is currently suffering from serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights violations, extreme poverty and a shortage of basic resources, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayuras.

“After careful consideration, we have decided that we must do what we can to support Haitian citizens in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so that they can safely return home.”

TPS was first extended to Haitians after a devastating earthquake in 2010 [File: Laura Bonilla Cal/AFP]

Former US President Donald Trump sought to abolish the temporary protection regime in Haiti in 2018, but his efforts were hampered by the courts.

Lawmakers and immigration advocates have urged President Joe Biden, who took office in January, on a promise to scrap some of Trump’s stricter anti-immigration policies, to expand the program. TPS was first introduced to Haitians after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country.

Dozens of people in Florida, home to a large Haitian community in and around Miami, have protested this week to demand an extension of the TPS program, local media mentioned.

The new TPS rating will keep close to 150,000 [Haitian] Individuals in harm’s way, ” Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a written letter. statement.

“At a time when Haiti is going through a severe political and security crisis and faces persistent humanitarian challenges, this decision provides urgently needed protection to eligible Haitian citizens in the United States,” he said.

Haiti has seen Months of political instability Violence has increased, and she is also struggling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Haitians took to the streets in demonstrations over the contested mandate of President Juvenile Moise, who most legal experts and civil society groups said his term expired on February 7. It expires in 2022.

“Today’s news is the result of countless hours of organizing, advocacy, and mobilization among the leaders of black immigrants,” said Patrice Lawrence, co-director of UndocuBlack Network, an advocacy group of unregistered blacks current and former in the United States.

“But as we celebrate today’s news, we know the business is still in its infancy. Other black-majority countries, including Cameroon, Mauritania, the Bahamas and Saint Vincent, should also receive a TPS rating immediately.” statement.

“I feel overjoyed at the 150,000 family who can sleep peacefully tonight knowing that they are safe thanks to TPS rated for Haiti. Grateful, optimistic and lusty,” Guerlain Joseph of Haitian Bridge Alliance Community Group, chirp.

The Refugee and Migrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES-Texas) said the decision was “too late” but that more work needs to be done to protect TPS holders.

“Without a redesign of the temporary protection system, Haitians have been living in uncertainty for the past several months. In the future, this ambiguity can be resolved through permanent reform through legislation that puts TPS holders on the path of citizenship,” the group tweeted.

Separately, immigration advocates raised the alarm earlier this year over reports that the Biden administration was returning Haitian migrants to Haiti under Title 42It is a public health directive developed by former President Donald Trump.

The Haiti Bridge, Quixote and Ondocoblac Alliance said that about 1,200 people had been sent back to Haiti after trying to enter the United States at the country’s southern border with Mexico between February 1 and March 25.

“Haitian migrants flee violence, instability, and persecution in Haiti,” said Nicole Phillips, Legal Director at Haitian Bridge Alliance. statement Attached to a report on expulsions under Chapter 42)PDF).

“Instead of security, they are abused by immigration officers – under Chapter 42 policy – they are summarily expelled to the country from which they fled without any opportunity to seek protection. As this report makes clear, these expulsions are not only tragic, they are also illegal.”

Haitian asylum-seekers were also returned to Mexico under Title 42, and they complained about it Racism and harassment In the Mexican border cities.

Haitian immigrants and supporters gather in New York to reject a 2017 decision to end the temporary protection regime for Haitians [File: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

But despite the challenges they face in Mexico, Haitian migrants told Al Jazeera last month that they had no other choice but to stay.

“My family had nothing in Haiti, no home, no food, no money,” said Edel Eglos, a Haitian asylum-seeker who lives in an immigration shelter on the outskirts of Tijuana with his wife and two children. “Whatever the case, going back to that is impossible.”

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