Posted on May 18, 2011

In Shift, US Grants ‘Temporary Protected Status’ to Haitian Quake Victims

Maria Sacchetti, Boston Globe, May 17, 2011

Haitians who fled the earthquake-ravaged nation last year will be eligible to apply for special status that allows them to live and work legally in the United States for a fixed amount of time, US immigration officials announced today.

The move extending so-called temporary protected status to the Haitians marks a major shift for federal officials, who had resisted granting it to thousands of Haitians in part to discourage a life-threatening mass migration by sea. {snip}

Under their new status, the Haitians who came after the quake will enjoy the protected status until Jan. 22, 2013. The government also gave the 18-month extension to Haitians who came to the US before the quake. It had been set to expire in July.


The estimated 10,000 people who had fled after the quake on visitor visas, which they overstayed because they had no jobs or homes to return to, ended up crowded into relatives’ homes or homeless and living in motels, as the Globe reported in January.