DHS grants Haitians six month extension to stay in U.S.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday it will extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) given to Haitians living in the U.S for another six months.

TPS was originally granted to Haitian nationals in the U.S. after the 2010 earthquake that hit the Caribbean, but the program has undergone several extensions and still remains in effect today. In fact, an estimated 58,706 Haitians are currently enrolled in the TPS, reports the Miami Herald.

The Daily Caller reports:

Haiti is one of 13 nations that receive the designation. Recipients are awarded protection from deportation, access to a driver’s license, work permit, social security card, and some welfare benefits from states.

DHS officials have also warned that while the TPS status will be extended until Jan 22, 2018, recipients should get their affairs in order, including getting travel documentation from their government.

The reason cited for the extension has to do with continued poor conditions after the earthquake, though senior DHS officials claim the conditions will improve within six months.

A leaked memo also surfaced that indicated the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recommended that Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly terminate TPS for Haitians, but advised he extend their status for six months in order for it to occur smoothly, says the report.

Haitian government officials claimed they told the U.S. that they would like TPS recipients to return home.

An official announcement by the DHS on the extension is expected in the coming days. TPS recipients will be given 60 days to renew their status and work permit.

“This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients,” Kelly said. “We plan to continue to work closely with the Haitian government, including assisting the government in proactively providing travel documents for its citizens.”

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