Franco Ordoñez and Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, February 28, 2019
The Trump administration said Thursday it will extend special immigration protections for Haiti and three other countries until January 2020.
The decision by the Department of Homeland Security, announced Thursday, gives thousands of Haitians an additional six-month reprieve from deportation, but holders of Temporary Protected Status still face uncertainty as the Trump administration continues to fight in the courts to end the program.
The decision affects Haitians, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Sudanese in the United States.
The extension affects over 300,000 people who have been allowed to temporarily live and work in the U.S. after war or major natural disasters in their own countries.
A decision in the case isn’t expected until after Friday.
Advocates said the DHS announcement means TPS holders and those fighting for a legislative fix now have more time to get a bill through Congress protecting both TPS holders and immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who receive protections under the DACA program.
Supporters of Venezuela are also pushing for temporary protections for thousands of Venezuelans currently living in the United States without legal status.
On Thursday, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, (D-N.J) Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, a bill that would immediately grant TPS to eligible Venezuelans fleeing the dire conditions in their home country.
For the moment, Thursday’s announcement means that as many as 60,000 Haitians who faced deportation as of July 22 can breathe a temporary sigh of relief.