U.S. to end protected status for Haitians
in July 2019
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[November 21, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United
States in July 2019 will end a special status given to about 59,000
Haitian immigrants that protects them from deportation after a
devastating 2010 earthquake, senior Trump administration officials said
The decision by acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke gives
Haitians 18 months to return to their impoverished Caribbean country or
legalize their status in the United States.
Former President Barack Obama's administration granted Haitian nationals
in the United States so-called Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for
18 months after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Haiti's capital,
Port-au-Prince, in January 2010, killing more than 300,000 people.
The Obama administration extended the status several times after the
Duke decided to terminate the special status after a U.S. review of the
conditions in Haiti found the country had made considerable progress, a
senior official with President Donald Trump's administration told a
"It was assessed overall that the extraordinary but temporary conditions
that served as the basis of Haitiís most recent designation has
sufficiently improved such that they no longer prevent nationals of
Haiti from returning safely," the official said.
In May, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly extended the status
for Haitians for six months through January 2018. At the time, Kelly
told reporters that TPS "is not meant to be an open-ended law but a
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A Flag from Haiti is pictured in a local store as a woman walks
under rain at the neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York, U.S. May 13,
2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
The decision to end TPS for Haitians is part of Trumpís broader
efforts to tighten restrictions on immigration, and comes despite
calls from even some fellow Republicans to continue the relief.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida published an opinion piece
in the Miami Herald on Friday urging the administration to renew
Haitiís TPS designation for another 18 months, citing ongoing
natural disasters, health epidemics and security issues since the
Duke in September ended protected status for citizens of Sudan as of
2018, but extended it for citizens of South Sudan through mid-2019.
This month, Duke decided to end the status for Nicaraguan
immigrants, but extended the program for Honduran immigrants until
July 2018.. Thousands of Nicaraguans and Hondurans received the
special status in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated Central
The Washington Post reported that Kelly pressured Duke to end the
program for Hondurans, but Duke denied the reports.
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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