U.S. Extends Temporary Protected Status for 18 months to Haitian Nationals
(Washington, DC January 15, 2010) Human Rights First welcomes Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano's announcement late today that the United States will extend Temporary Protected Status for 18 months to Haitian nationals living in the United States. Human Rights First, along with other organizations and many Members of Congress, had urged the United States to take this important step in the wake of Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
The announcement will allow Haitians already living in the United States to remain here for a limited time and work legally, and is an essential component of broader U.S. efforts to aid Haiti during this difficult time.
As noted in the DHS announcement, TPS will only apply to Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12 and it does not apply to any Haitian nationals who arrive in the United States after January 12.
Human Rights First is concerned that Secretary Napolitano's statement implies that the United States will repatriate all Haitians who attempt to travel to the United States after January 12, 2010, and we remind the United States of its obligations under international human rights law including its obligation not to repatriate any individuals who are refugees at risk of persecution.
Statement by Eleanor Acer, Director, Refugee Protection Program.