The Biden administration is allowing eligible Haitian nationals residing in the U.S. to apply for a new 18-month designation for temporary protected status, reversing a Trump administration effort that had sought to end the special consideration.
In a statement Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty and other problems in Haiti for the decision.
“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,” Mayorkas said.
DHS says a foreign country may be designated for temporary protected status, or TPS, because of conditions that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely or because the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. While a person with TPS cannot be removed from the U.S., DHS notes that it is a temporary benefit that doesn’t lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status.