U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on Saturday.

This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti) currently residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021, to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements, according to a press release.

“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”

Scores of Haitian-Americans capped off a week of Haitian Flag celebrations with welcoming news Saturday that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians has been renewed and expanded, a decision that stands to affect more than 100,000 compatriots, according to The Haitian Times on Sunday.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been fighting for it,” said Rose Tilus, a TPS holder who works as a nurse practitioner in Rhode Island. “I’m happy that decision came in. Knowing that I have the next 18 months, it gives me peace of mind. Just to know that I can continue to take care of my patients is great.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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