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ICYMI: Government of Haiti Makes Formal Request for 18-month Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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The government of Haiti has written to the Trump Administration to formally request an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Haitians living in the United States. The request, reported in the Miami Herald, was signed by Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States and delivered to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The piece can be found in its entirety here, and excerpted below.

The request, delivered Friday to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was written by the country’s ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor, on behalf of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse….“A visit to Haiti would offer you insight on the challenges that we continue to face,” Altidor wrote. The country, he said, has faced several devastating blows — including flooding from Hurricanes Irma and Maria — since the initial designation in 2010 after Haiti’s deadly earthquake.

“The detrimental impacts of the recent hurricanes have complicated our ability to recover from the 2010 earthquake,” he said. Cholera and Hurricane Matthew…have exacerbated the situation on the ground, resulting in major disruptions of living conditions in the short term.”

In May, DHS extended Haiti’s TPS designation for just six months, arguing that conditions in the country had improved since the quake left 300,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless. Then-DHS Secretary John Kelly, who is now President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, said DHS would re-evaluate the designation ahead of the January expiration date but said he had warned Moïse to prepare to bring his people back from the U.S.

Fears over the program’s end and a subsequent return to Haiti have caused panic for some in the Haitian community. Earlier this summer, thousands of Haitian TPS recipients and others with temporary work authorizations fled illegally to Canada across the New York state border, overwhelming Canadian authorities.

Concerned about the illegal migration, Altidor ramped up the government’s outreach. He’s had discussions with DHS, the State Department, White House and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle about the need for an extension.

“I think it would be difficult for them to absorb it,” Rubio said. “But if that’s the decision, the administration makes, — which I hope they do not — if they did, my view is that the embassy will have a lot of work on its hands and the government of Haiti will require a lot of assistance.”