Over the last few days, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that more than 100,000 Haitian nationals living in the United States would be granted the right to apply for an 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation.
TPS is a type of humanitarian relief that is extended only when there are serious concerns about the ethics and morality of deporting someone back to a country that is suffering from serious internal turmoil and safety issues.
What does TPS designation for Haitians mean?
TPS status is a literal lifeline for people that could suffer tragic outcomes if they were deported to their home countries and is part of the Immigration Act of 1990. A country can be designated for TPS status due to ongoing armed conflicts, environmental disasters, social disasters and other unsafe or unhealthy events.
In this case, Haitians who were in the United States on or before May 21, 2021, will have the right to apply for TPS status. If TPS is granted, they will generally be protected from ordinary deportation efforts so long as their status doesn’t change.
TPS does not mean, however, that there’s a clear or easy path for Haitian immigrants to obtain either lawful permanent residence (a green card) or U.S. citizenship. It does, however, give those immigrants a chance to apply for an adjusted status based on their family situation or employment during their protected time period.
Why should you be cautious with TBP status?
As with all immigration issues these days, you need to carefully consider your next steps if you hope to first obtain TBP status and then convert to either a green card or citizenship. A wrong move could put your entire future in danger. Working with a knowledgeable immigration attorney is more essential than ever.