January 23, 2010

The Facts on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in the U.S.

Shortly after a devastating earthquake destroyed the homes and lives of innumerable Haitians, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano announced the designation of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for the roughly 100,000-200,000 eligible Haiti nationals currently in the United States as of January 12, 2010. As the world continues to respond with an outpouring of relief efforts, it is important to understand the facts on what TPS is, what it isn’t, how it works and who is eligible.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released a fact sheet which provides background information vital to understanding TPS, including:

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary, humanitarian form of relief from deportation that does not include granting permanent residence or “amnesty” to unauthorized immigrants in the United States.
  • The 100,000-200,000 Haitian immigrants whom the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates are now in the United States on a temporary basis or without authorization will not be subject to removal as long as there is no functioning country to which they can return, and provided that they do not have criminal records.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, “in consultation with the Secretary of State, can issue TPS for periods of 6 to 18 months and can extend these periods if conditions do not change in the designated country.”
  • Major requirements for TPS include compliance with nationality and physical presence criteria (such as evidence of a passport issued by the designated country), continuous physical presence in the United States since the date TPS went into effect, timely registration, and being otherwise admissible as an immigrant.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety, see: