CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Sat. Jan. 16, 2010: The Obama administration has finally given into pressure from advocates and granted Temporary Protected Status to undocumented Haitians living in the U.S.
`As part of the Department`s ongoing efforts to assist Haiti following Tuesday`s devastating earthquake, I am announcing the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010,` Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last night.
`This is a disaster of historic proportions and this designation will allow eligible Haitian nationals in the United States to continue living and working in our country for the next 18 months. Providing a temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who are currently in the United States and whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this Administration`s continuing efforts to support Haiti`s recovery.`
Napolitano, however, warned Haitians in Haiti against leaving the country for the U.S. as TPS only applies to the Haitians who have been living undocumented in the country and not to new comers.
`It is important to note that TPS will apply only to those individuals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after January 12, 2010 will not be eligible for TPS and will be repatriated,` she warned.
Haitians in the U.S. who are eligible to apply for TPS should go to www.uscis.gov or call USCIS toll-free at (800) 375-5283.
The TPS approval comes amidst renewed calls this week from several politicians and advocates as Haiti grapples with the worst catastrophe in 200 years following the Jan 12th 7.0 earthquake.