Obama Grants “Temporary Protective Status” to Undocumented Haitians in US
Obama Grants Haitians Illegally in U.S. ‘Protected Status’ for 18 Months
Critics Say it is a Slippery Slope to Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants
By DEVIN DWYER and TEDDY DAVIS
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2010
The Obama administration said today that tens of thousands of illegal Haitian immigrants can remain temporarily in the U.S. while their country rebuilds after Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.
The announcement to grant “temporary protective status,” or TPS, to Haitian nationals allows immigrants already in the U.S. to live and work freely here until conditions in Haiti improve. After 18 months the status could be revoked.
“This is a disaster of historic proportions and this designation will allow eligible Haitian nationals in the United States to continue living and working in our country for the next 18 months,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced late today on a conference call. “Providing a temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who are currently in the United States and whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this Administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.”
Napolitano estimated that there are 100,000 to 200,000 Haitian nationals currently in the country illegally.
“TPS gives them sort of an intermediate immigration status,” said the secretary. “It allows them — only for a period of 18 months, while Haiti gets back on its feet — to remain in the United States and authorizes them to work during that period, among other things.”