US may extend TPS for Haitians, but only those with no criminal records

Posted by on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 Under: Migration
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The Donald Trump administration is currently taking into serious consideration the numerous pleas of lawmakers to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians; the humanitarian program which allows some 50.000 Haitians affected by the devastating earthquake of 2010 has been extended several times but is due to expire July 22.

While no definitve decision has yet been taken, the newly appointed Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) James McCamen has given indications that only beneficiaries with no criminal records will be allowed to stay.

The Asociated Press obtained internal emails from the USCIS requesting the criminal history of Haitians who benefit from the TPS, as well as the number of the 50.000 who receive public assisstance.

"I want to warn them ... the secretariat is going to send us a petition to make us more receptive," wrote Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, USCIS policy and strategy director, on April 27.

"I know that some of the data is not registered, but we will have to find a way to get more data from our system," he said regarding the difficulty of collecting requested information about crimes.

The messages do not make it clear whether crimes committed by Haitians will be used to determine their permanence in the country, whether it is something that only affects Haitians or whether the agency requested similar information from other beneficiaries of temporary protection, Immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Its Director Kelly has not made a final decision on the TPS for Haiti and declined to comment on the process.

USCIS Acting Director James McCament last month said that Haiti is no longer in crisis despite its poverty and political instability and recommended the end of the program.

However, he wanted to allow Haitians to stay in the country until January to give them time to sort out their affairs and leave voluntarily. If they had not done so by then, the executive could deport them.

In : Migration 

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