DHS Extends TPS Status for Haitian Beneficiaries, but with qualifications

Yesterday morning, the Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, starting July 23, 2011 and effective for another 18 months. However, as you will see in the press release, the government is continuing to separate immigrants into “deserving” and “undeserving” categories:

“A person who has been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States, or is subject to one of the criminal, or security-related bars to admissibility under immigration law, is not eligible for TPS. In addition, an applicant cannot obtain TPS if he or she is subject to one of the mandatory bars to asylum, such as committing a particularly serious crime that makes the person a danger to the U.S. community or persecuting others.”

Also, the government is still refusing to stop all deportations to Haiti, despite the humanitarian disaster there.

Haitians who attempt to enter the United States now or in the future will not be granted TPS. DHS has been repatriating Haitians seeking to illegally enter the United States since the earthquake in 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard has been intercepting Haitians at sea and returning Haitians who have attempted to enter the United States illegally and who do not meet U.S. protection screening criteria; U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been removing inadmissible Haitians who have arrived at U.S. ports of entry consistent with U.S. policy; and—since January 2011—U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) has removed certain Haitians who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses (or who pose a threat to U.S. national security) and have been issued a final order of removal.”

For some, this announcement may be a reason to celebrate, but for others the continued deportation of ineligible individuals could mean a death sentence in Haitian prison. Until the humanitarian crisis is over, the DHS should cease deportations…without qualification.

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