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AILA: Six-Month Extension of Protection for Haitians Is Not Enough

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org
Belle Woods
202-507-7675
bwoods@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals through January 22, 2018, but is disappointed that DHS opted to forego a full 18-month extension, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence that many of the conditions in Haiti that prompted TPS persist.

AILA President William A. Stock stated, "In extending TPS, DHS made the right decision, but a six month extension isn't sufficient. In six months, will the country's devastated infrastructure be sufficiently rebuilt? In six months, will cholera and other diseases pose less of a threat to this struggling nation? In six months, will Haiti be able to safely absorb and support the repatriation of 50,000 people back into the country? The answer to these questions is 'no.' Come January, DHS should renew TPS for Haiti for a full 18-months to give stability to the Haitian community in America and to give Haiti a fighting chance to make significant improvements to country conditions."

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, "The United States has a long and proud history of offering humanitarian protection in the form of TPS to those who would otherwise face life-threatening conditions if forced to return to their homelands. While a six month respite is welcome for the families who depend on TPS and the U.S. businesses who depend on their Haitian employees, it is simply not enough. AILA will continue to work with community and NGO partners to ensure that Haitians who have built their lives in the U.S. over the past 7 years can remain here safely until their country can safely accept them."

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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. 17052237.