The extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) comes after immigration advocates, the Haitian diaspora and Democrats had called on the Joe Biden administration to amplify protections for nationals of the beleaguered nation.
“We are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to Haitian nationals already present in the United States,” said Mayorkas in a statement. “Conditions in Haiti, including socioeconomic challenges, political instability, and gang violence and crime -aggravated by environmental disaster- compelled the humanitarian relief we are providing today,” he added.
The move was largely received as good news among Haitian advocates, who worried that repatriations to the Caribbean country would further aggravate conditions there.
Mayorkas’s decision to both extend and redesignate means that Haitians in the United States who already had TPS protections will now be protected through Aug. 3, 2024, and Haitians who arrived too late to get those protections will be eligible to apply.
“The reason things have deteriorated so badly in Haiti is a result of the fact that unfortunately our policy has been to prop up a corrupt, illegitimate regime there that has caused conditions to get incredibly bad and dysfunctional and hellish,” he added.
TPS qualifications are granted by the Homeland Security Secretary for up to 18 months and cover foreign nationals or citizens who are present in the United States until a certain date.