Biden Grants Temporary Protected Status to Haitians in the U.S.

Buzzfeed News recently reported that more than 100,000 Haitians residing in the U.S. since prior to May 21 have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Haitians who satisfy this criterion must file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and pass a background check after which they will receive work and travel authorization.

Haiti has been suffering from social unrest, gang violence, and an ongoing constitutional crisis, all of which have made recovery from the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince even more challenging. The Obama administration had already granted TPS to Haitians living in the U.S. continuously since 2010; this protection was set to expire in October. The new protection Biden is providing will expire in 18 months.

TPS is a boon for Haitians living in the U.S., allowing them to live and work without fear of being suddenly deported. On the other hand it is temporary, preventing those who wish to do so from putting down roots and establishing a long-term connection with their community. Hopefully a better solution can be found before the 18 month reprieve expires.