Above: US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (Photo: DHS)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced the extension of the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status.
The 18-month extension will last through July 22, 2014. It will allow those currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to keep TPS through that date.
TPS can be authorized when the US determines that a state is “experiencing ongoing armed conflict, and environmental disaster or ‘extraordinary and temporary conditions.'”
It is a temporary immigration status that allows beneficiaries to remain in the United States and work during the TPS period.
The extension was warranted, according to a determination by Napolitano, that “the conditions in Haiti that had prompted the initial 2010 TPS designation and the 2011 redesignation continue to be met.”
“There continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti resulting from the devastating effects of the January 2010 earthquake that prevent Haitians from returning to their country in safety,” the Secretary’s office said in a notice in the Federal Register. “Permitting eligible Haitians to remain temporarily in the United States is not contrary to the national interest of the United States.”
Some Haitian nationals can now re-register for TPS and apply for renewal of their work documents, although that is limited to those who have previously registered for TPS and whose applications have been granted.
The 60-day re-registration period begins Oct. 1, and remains in effect through Nov. 30.
Temporary Protected Status for Haiti was previously extended in May 2011, and first designated in January 2010 following the earthquake.