Congressman Al Green Applauds the Administration's Decision to Grant Temporary Protection Status to the Citizens of Haiti Who Were in the U.S. Before the Earthquake

Jan 16, 2010 Issues: Social Security

(Washington, DC)--Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) applauded the Obama Administration after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its decision to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. This will allow eligible Haitian nationals to continue living and working in the United States for the next 18 months.

Yesterday, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, issued an official statement expressing that the earthquake in Haiti is a “disaster of historic proportions.” Napolitano added the decision to grant TPS is part of the Administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.

Congressman Al Green, who cosponsored legislation to designate Haiti eligible for Temporary Protected Status, said: “We thank President Obama for granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitian citizens in our great country. I and many of my colleagues had requested it. A great nation does not force people to return to conditions that are unsafe and detrimental to their well being. A great nation extends the hand of friendship to its neighbors during times of challenge and crisis.”

TPS is typically extended to immigrants from countries where sudden conflict or disaster has prevented them from returning safely. El Salvador, Honduras, Somalia, and Nicaragua are countries whose nationals are covered by this designation in the United States. In the case of Haiti, DHS’s decision could benefit 100,000 immigrants and it would allow them to work legally.

On Wednesday, U.S. immigration officials temporarily halted the removal of some 30,000 illegal Haitians awaiting deportation. France, Canada, and the Dominican Republic are taking similar steps to ease their immigrations rules in light of the disaster.