As a Miami immigration lawyer, I have had the pleasure of representing many Haitian nationals, who have since become the bedrock of Miami’s vibrant Haitian-American community. One of the most important ways in which the United States has provided relief for Haitian immigrants is through TPS (Temporary Protected Status). Below are some frequently asked questions.
What is TPS?
TPS stands for Temporary Protected Status. It is a special status that allowed some 58,000 Haitians to stay in the United States as their nation recovered from a devastating 2010 earthquake. Former President Barack Obama approved Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in the wake of the earthquake. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Does TPS expire?
Yes. It is up for renewal on July 22, but because of Trump’s severely anti-immigration stance, many Haitians who took advantage of the program fear it won’t be extended, sending them back to an impoverished country where efforts to rebuild housing are lagging and 750,000 people still don’t have safe water for drinking and cooking. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Why is it important to support an extension of TPS?
Since the earthquake, Haiti also has suffered a cholera outbreak that has killed 9,000 Haitians. Representatives of the Haitian community and labor, immigration and religious groups said that TPS should be extended for at least another 18 months. Sending back the tens of thousands of Haitians who benefit from the special status at this point would destabilize the country and also cut off the remittances they send home to help their families stay afloat, they said a news conference. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.
Why is it urgent to receive confirmation from immigration authorities that TPS is renewed?
In order to work in the United States, those with TPS must request an employment authorization document. With fingerprinting, background checks and paperwork, that process can take about 90 days. Employers get nervous. Even if someone has the ability to renew TPS, if they don’t have a valid work permit in their pocket or in their possession, their employers are going to release them. This is why it’s important to extend TPS as soon as possible. In addition, many Haitians with TPS are doing highway and other construction work. The construction industry may suffer if TPS isn’t renewed. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
What are advocates doing to bring awareness to the issue of TPS renewal?
In late March, 10 members of the South Florida congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly urging the administration to extend TPS “given the continued difficult conditions in Haiti.” =South Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was among those who signed the letter, said Thursday the lawmakers still haven’t received a response. In addition, a community delegation headed by Ira Kurzban, an immigration attorney, is currently in Washington urging the extension of TPS. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
If you would like more information on how to obtain TPS, U.S. citizenship, or your green card, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.