Clinical Associate Professor of Law Gemma Solimene joined Raymond Audain, senior counsel for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, for a wide-ranging discussion of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian citizens in the United States.
TPS allows immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily while their country of origin recovers from a disaster—that disaster could come in the form of civil war, an epidemic, or a natural disaster. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti received TPS status, meaning that Haitians fleeing their country of origin could live and work in the U.S. without fear of removal. It is estimated that over 55,000 Haitians are currently in the United States with TPS.
However, on Nov 20, 2017, the U.S. government announced its decision to end TPS for Haitians, despite not having followed past procedures for doing so. The NAACP deemed the decision—which came in the wake of President Trump’s derogatory comments about Haiti and Haitians—discriminatory and therefore, illegal.
Two federal courts issued preliminary injunctions, prohibiting the government for moving forward with ending TPS for Haitians as long as the cases are ongoing. Currently, TPS for Haitians is extended through January 2021. If the government is allowed to go forward with ending it, Haitians with TPS benefits may have as few as 120 days to leave the country.
In their conversation, Solimene and Audain discussed an overview of TPS benefits, advice for TPS recipients seeking legal advice, and the future of TPS for Haitians.
Watch the video: Haiti Temporary Protected Status.