Feds want more Haitians to sign up for “temporary” refugee program
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 8, 2013
I wondered why I was seeing notices about new registration periods for Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, and I had noticed mentions of Hurricane Sandy and wondered how that affected Haitians in the US illegally (or already on TPS).
Here, in late December, David North writing at the Center for Immigration Studies blog tells us what is going on.
The administration continues to go out of its way to be nice to illegal aliens, and others from Haiti, who are now in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS was granted to Haitians in the U.S. originally because of the earthquake of January 12, 2010.
[Map of Haiti]
TPS gives otherwise ineligible people legal status in 18-month chunks, during which they are free to work in the above-ground labor market. The beneficiaries are not on a path to citizenship, but they are much better off than they were before, because, among other things, they are also not on a path to deportation. But they do have to re-register every 18 months.
The latest wrinkle relates to the re-registration period for TPS beneficiaries, which was originally scheduled for October 1 through November 30, 2012. Midway through that period Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast, being particularly harmful to New York City, the home of many of the TPS Haitians.
According to the announcement in today’s Federal Register “DHS recognizes that Haitian TPS beneficiaries affected by the hurricane may require additional time to prepare a re-registration application and to gather either the funds to cover the re-registration fees or the documentation to support a fee waiver request.”
So, DHS, instead of extending the October-November registration window for a while to cope with what it regarded as a major problem, let the registration period come to an end, and then, as of December 28, 2012, re-opened it again to close, this time, on January 29, 2013.
We wrote about how the Haitian earthquake back in 2010 gave the Obama administration an excuse to give Haitians temporary refugee status and we knew then, based on all the other TPS designations, that this would never end. TPS would just be extended and extended until the illegals had purchased homes, opened businesses and raised families (voted?) and like the Liberians before them would then cry foul if anyone ever tried to end their “temporary” stay.
North continued (emphasis mine):
My sense is that USCIS keeps being disappointed at the TPS turnout, but it’s not because of storms, it is because interior enforcement of the immigration law is so tepid, and the talk of an impending legalization program is so common that a lot of Haitian illegals decide, understandably, why bother?
According to the Miami Herald the current Haitian enrollment in TPS is about 60,000; at one point USCIS expected more than twice as many would take advantage of its provisions.
Incidentally, if one is eligible for TPS and holds another nonimmigrant visa, such as an F-1 for international students, the individual alien can choose whichever status suits them best, a highly unusual feature in the migration business.
Readers, I should have made a separate category for Temporary Protected Status but didn’t. Just type those words into our search function and all previous posts on the topic appear, here. Guatemalans are now lobbying to get TPS for their people (I see by the large number of hits I get on Guatemala TPS posts), but I gather so far the Obama Administration has not chosen them yet for this special amnesty program.
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