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Debris in the streets of the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel-Air, in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.
Debris in the streets of the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel-Air, in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.

Trump extends protected status for 59,000 Haitians

The Trump administration has decided to continue protecting thousands of Haitians living in the US since the 2010 earthquake from deportation for another six…

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There is at least one group of illegal immigrants that won't fear to be deported by the Trump Administration for now: Haitians.  

The White House announced on Monday it will extend legal protection to almost 59,000 Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake for 6 more months.

The decision, made by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, will all allow them to stay and work in the US for half a year without risking deportation. 

"After looking at the conditions in Haiti and determining that at this point, legally, under the statute, the secretary could still determine that those conditions warranted an extension of the protection, he decided to do so," said an anonymous senior DHS official to CNN. 

For seven years,displaced Haitians had benefited from the temporary protected status (TPS), a  program designed by DHS for countries affected by issues like natural disasters and civil wars. Individuals benefiting from TPS living in the US are protected from detention and deportation based on their immigration status and are able to apply for work authorizations, as reported in CNN. Other countries under TPS include Sudan, Syria and some Central American countries. 

The Haiti TPS was supposed to expire in July. 

“Haiti has made progress across several fronts since the devastating earthquake in 2010,” Mr. Kelly said. DHS secretary added that Haitians should use the 6 month extension to prepare their return to Haiti. After  January 22, 2018, Haitians would be vulnerable to deportation unless they had proper documentation, as reported in The New York Times.

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