Opinion: Six-Month Extension for Haitian TPS is Not Enough
May 26, 2017
In a joint op-ed published in the Miami Herald on Friday, May 26, HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield and Congressman Ted Deutch, who represents Florida's 22nd District, argue that Secretary Kelly's decision to extend protections for Hatians only for a six-month period is insufficent to the realities on the ground in Haiti today. "Extending TPS to people who can’t safely return home — and providing safe haven to them here in the United States — is one of the hallmarks of America’s humanitarian values," they write.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made the right decision to extend temporary protected status (TPS) for Haitians living in the United States. Deporting Haitians right now would have been disastrous for them and for Haiti, which is currently in no condition to accept them. At the same time, by promising them only six months of reprieve, and not providing any level of certainty as to whether their situation will be reconsidered in six months, the Haitian community in the United States will now live in fear that they only have until January before they face deportation.
"Haiti’s recovery has been undermined by drought, prolonged economic instability, public health crises, and natural disasters. Today, 1.65 million peoplein Haiti are at risk of cholera infection," Deutch and Hetfield point out. "Threatening to send people back to a country so plagued with disaster and crisis would set a dangerous precedent."