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U.S. extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians for six months


  • A man argues with a Haitian National Police officer March 1 as a police line blocks a street during a march calling for better labor conditions in Port-au-Prince. Haitians in the U.S. since a devastating 2010 earthquake are urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to renew their Temporary Protected Status designation because conditions have not appreciably improved in their homeland. (CNS photo/Andres Martinez Casares, Reuters)
  • A Haitian woman, who gave her name as Cilotte, takes a taxi to the U.S.-Canada border April 26 from Champlain, N.Y. Haitians in the U.S. since a devastating 2010 earthquake are urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to renew their Temporary Protected Status designation because conditions have not appreciably improved in their homeland. (CNS photo/Christine Muschi, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Tens of thousands of Haitians enrolled under the Temporary Protected Status program can stay in the United States until at least January.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly renewed the designation May 22. The decision affects more than 58,000 Haitians in the U.S.

The designation, also known as TPS, was implemented by the U.S. government for Haiti days after a powerful earthquake in January 2010 leveled much of the country surrounding the capital of Port-au-Prince. It allowed Haitian nationals to stay in the U.S. because of adverse conditions in their homeland.

Kelly's order extends Temporary Protected Status until Jan. 22, 2018, six months beyond the original expiration date of July 22. Previous extensions had been granted for 18 months.

Kelly did not adopt the recommendation of the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that called for ending the designation for Haitians altogether in July. In an April 10 memo to Kelly, James W. McCament said "conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation for TPS," but suggested delaying the effective date of the termination for six months to allow "for a period of orderly transition" for Haitian nationals.

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