The Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States will continue until next year after a six month extension was granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Haiti’s TPS designation was set to expire in July and faces re-evaluation come January 22, 2018.

“They responded to our letter, and, with the extension, progress has been made until next year.  Congress would have to change the law in order for TPS to be made permanent and we will continue to work toward that goal to protect people from Haiti who now live in Broward County,” said Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief.  (See attached.)

Broward County Commissioners signed a letter sent from Mayor Sharief to former Secretary of Homeland Security (now White House Chief of Staff) John Kelly asking that the TPS be made permanent.  In response,  Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services James McCament wrote that under the terms of TPS, an extension had been granted and will be re-evaluated next year.

“Haiti was initially designated for TPS on January 21, 2010 with almost 60,000 Haitians in the United States currently receiving protection under Haiti’s designation,” wrote McCament.  “On May 22, 2017 Secretary Kelly announced a limited six month extension.”

The response letter noted Haiti’s progress since the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country and left millions of people homeless.  “Haiti — if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues at pace -may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018….and beneficiaries should plan accordingly,” former Secretary Kelly was quoted as saying.

Temporary Protection Status is a designation countries can be given if they meet certain legally required qualifications such as natural disasters, civil war or other conditions that prevent nationals from safely returning to their country.  The designation can be extended for up to eighteen months at a time if conditions in any country continue to meet that criteria.