AILA Deeply Disappointed by Decision to Terminate Temporary Protected Status for Haiti

WASHINGTON, DC November 21, 2017 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) denounced the decision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 58,000 Haitian nationals, effective July 22, 2019. A country may be designated for TPS when conditions resulting from a natural disaster, civil conflict, or other conditions make it unsafe for nationals of that country to return.

AILA President Annaluisa Padilla stated, “In 2010, a massive earthquake devastated Haiti’s communities, infrastructure, ecological systems, and society. Overwhelming evidence shows that the conditions in Haiti that resulted from that event persist, have been exacerbated by multiple intervening hurricanes, and will likely remain unresolved in 18 months. The decision to terminate TPS in 2019 is premature and devastating to America’s vibrant Haitian community. Given the great uncertainty surrounding the future of Haiti, including its ability to safely accept the return of its nationals, the administration’s decision is shortsighted and uninformed.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, “For seven years, our nation has recognized the inhumanity associated with the return of 58,000 Haitian citizens to a country that is incapable of supporting them, and in that time, Haitians with TPS have established firm roots in the United States. For seven years, they have built their lives here, through the pursuit of educational opportunities and hard work while contributing to our economy and supporting their families back home through remittances. Now DHS has drawn the line in the sand: TPS for Haiti will end on July 22, 2019, and decisions on the future of TPS for hundreds of thousands of others are imminent. There is bipartisan support in Congress to provide permanent residence for those who have for years resided lawfully in the United States in TPS status. Congress must act now to protect these individuals before it is too late.”