Temporary Protected Status Program
The United States Department of Homeland Security has introduced a Temporary Protected Status, or TPS program to help Haitians living in the United States. No other significant weather event has impacted Haiti more than the tragic January earthquake, which was the reason for the introduction of the program. The government has also put a stop to the deporting of immigrants from Haiti who were previously been detained.
Conditions to Qualify for Temporary Protected Status Program
Haitian immigrants, who must have been on United States soil during the time of the earthquake, will be allowed a year-and-a-half (18 months) of Temporary Protected Status as well as authorization to work in the United States.
The United States government has taken similar action during prior catastrophic natural disasters, specifically for immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, Somalia, Nicaragua and Sudan.
Restrictions for the Temporary Protected Status Program
The Department of Homeland Security has mentioned that TPS will not be extended to those found to be convicted of specific crimes, and more importantly in cases of US deportation the TPS will not apply. In cases of criminality and deportation, it is important to consult with an immigration lawyer whether or not your would otherwise fall under the TPS category.
The USCIS should be commended for its TPS Program as a humanitarian gesture towards Haitian victims and their families.