The Biden administration is extending protections offered to Haitians living in exile in the US — undoing another immigration policy championed by President Trump.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas re-designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on Saturday, allowing Haitian nationals to live and work legally in the US for another 18 months.
“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources,” Mayorkas said.
TPS was first established for Haitian refugees in 2010 in the wake of that year’s devastating earthquake, and the status was extended multiple times under President Barack Obama. Nearly 41,000 Haitians were protected under the rule as of this March, the Congressional Research Service found.
The Trump administration, contending that the TPS program had been abused as a back-door means of permanent immigration, announced the end of protections for Haitians in 2018 — but a series of lawsuits prevented that ruling from being enforced.
President Biden initiated TPS protections for Venezuelan nationals in March.