Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke has announced that the temporary protected status program for Haitians will be terminated with a delayed effective date of 18 months.

Key points:

  • Temporary protected status for Haitians will end July 22, 2019.
  • Haitians currently holding TPS will be required to reapply for employment authorization documents in order to legally work in the United States until the termination date.

Background: Temporary protected status allows certain nationals to legally remain in the U.S. and apply for an employment authorization document following a designation by DHS that conditions due to natural disasters, unrest or other extraordinary and temporary circumstances prevent them from returning home. Haiti was designated for TPS in 2010 following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. When TPS for Haiti was extended in May, then-secretary John Kelly hinted that the status may be terminated upon the next review. More than 58,000 Haitians are in the U.S. on TPS.

BAL Analysis: Haitians holding TPS should take steps to reapply for employment authorization documents and explore options for other legal immigration routes.