AILA Commends Government for Temporary Relief to Haitian Nationals

Tuesday, May 18, 2011
George Tzamaras or Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628 /

WASHINGTON, DC -- The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commends the Department of Homeland Security for extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals in the United States since January 12, 2010 and also for re-designating Haiti for TPS so that nationals who arrived within the year following the earthquake can also apply for TPS. Beneficiaries of the extension and re-designation will now be able to apply to remain in the country until January 23, 2013.

AILA applauds DHS for recognizing that the conditions in Haiti are unsafe for residents. "The government did the right thing by extending and re-designating TPS for Haitians in the U.S. Granting TPS to those who are eligible and suspending non-criminal deportations is an important humanitarian response to this crisis," said AILA President David Leopold.

TPS is a temporary designation for qualified nationals of a foreign country already in the United States who are unable to safely return to their country of origin due to ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary or temporary conditions. TPS grants foreign nationals work authorization and protection against deportation for the duration of the protected status. It does not lead to permanent resident status or confer any additional immigration benefit.

In recognition of the devastation caused by the catastrophic January 12, 2010 earthquake, DHS moved quickly to designate Haiti for TPS. However, only nationals in the U.S. prior to the earthquake were able to benefit. Over a year later, Haiti remains in ruins and continues to struggle against a virulent cholera epidemic that has affected many of its already struggling residents. The extension and re-designation recognizes that conditions in Haiti remain unsafe and allows Haitians who have arrived on visas or who were paroled into the U.S. post-earthquake to also receive TPS. AILA continues to urge the agency to suspend deportations to the country that is still devastated by disaster and disease.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 11051867.