As a Miami immigration lawyer, I read with gratitude that in light of Hurricane Matthew’s recent destruction in Haiti, ICE has put on hold a new policy of deporting Haitians who are in the United States without permission. Below are some frequently asked questions:

Why did the U.S. government initially stop deporting undocumented Haitian nationals?

The United States stopped deporting Haitians after the Caribbean country was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010, freeing them on humanitarian parole instead. But on Sept. 21, Homeland Security began putting Haitians in detention facilities as a prelude to sending them home. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.

Why did the U.S. immigration authorities want to resume deporting undocumented Haitian nationals?

After a six-year moratorium on deportations to the earthquake-scarred country, the Obama administration is resuming them, citing “improved conditions in Haiti” since the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake and “a significant increase in Haitians arriving at the Southwest border in San Diego, Calif.” If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.

Is the current moratorium on deportations of Haitians indefinite?

No. Jeh Johnson, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, said, “We will have to deal with that situation, address it, be sympathetic to the plight of the people of Haiti as a result of the hurricane,” he said. “But after that situation, after that condition has been addressed, we intend to resume the policy change that I brought about several weeks ago.”

What about Haitian nationals with TPS?

Haitian nationals currently covered by Temporary Protected Status, an immigration benefit granted to tens of thousands a day after the earthquake, are not affected by the policy change. If you have any questions about this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

If you would like more information on how to obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or how to adjust status as an undocumented Haitian national, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at

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