Today, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This amnesty enables Haitians illegally residing, and those already under TPS in the United States as of May 21, 2021 to file applications for Temporary Protected Status.

Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement:

Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.

A country may be designated for TPS based upon one or more of the three statutory grounds for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.

The DHS notice does attempt to discourage opportunistic migrants from taking advantage of the amnesty stating that “those who attempt to travel to the United States after the May 21, announcement will not be eligible for TPS and may be repatriated.”

According to the memo, “Individuals eligible for TPS under Haiti’s new designation must file an application for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services… This includes current beneficiaries under Haiti’s TPS designation, who will need to file a new application to register for TPS to ensure they do not lose TPS or experience a gap in coverage. Individuals filing for TPS may also request an Employment Authorization Document and travel authorization.”

Haiti was initially designated for Temporary Protected Status in 2010, after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake. In 2011, Haiti’s designation was extended, and the country was also redesignated for TPS at the same time. Haiti’s designation was subsequently extended again for 18 months in 2013 and 2015, and for an additional six months in 2017.

For the complete memo, please click here.

Updated: Mon, Jun 7th 2021 @ 11:10am EDT