Before the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, residents of Haiti were already dealing with a multitude of problems and crises. Moïse’s shocking murder only added another layer of unease felt by a vast majority of Haitians.
The current political instability has created a crisis that the already weakened government can do little to stop. In response, Haitians are fleeing their homes in the hopes of finding a safe place to live.
Protection during uncertain times
In response to the ongoing unrest, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to those living in the United States who left their home country due to armed conflicts and natural disasters. For a predetermined amount of time, foreign nationals can continue living and working in the United States.
In making their decision, the DHS also cited gang violence, human rights abuses, food insecurity, waterborne diseases, and natural hazards currently plaguing Haiti. Approximately 100,000 will qualify, increasing the total to around 155,000 Haitians applying or reapplying.
After several extensions, the TPS designation was terminated in January 2018 by the previous presidential administration. The new order will last for 18 months, starting on August 3, 2021, and ending on February 3, 2023. The DHS warns that Haitians who travel to the United States after July 29, 2021, will not be eligible and face immediate removal from the U.S.
Cases involving Temporary Protected Status combine emotionally charged issues with the associated legal complexities of immigration law. The first step is to contact an attorney with experience and knowledge in matters of immigration.