Haiti’s government has formally requested that the Trump administration grant an 18-month extension of temporary protection from deportation for thousands of Haitians living in the United States.
The letter was delivered Friday to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security written by Ambassador to Haiti to the United States, Paul Altidor, on behalf of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
More than 50,000 Haitian immigrants are registered for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), set to expire January 22. TPS, offered after a massive 2010 earthquake struck near the capital city of Port-au-Prince, permits them to temporarily stay in the United States, with work privileges, until conditions improve in their homeland.
In May, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would extend TPS by six months, not the one-year minimum sought by Haiti’s government and some advocates. During a June visit to Haiti, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he thought Haitians’ protection from deportation would end in January.
Miami Herald reports, the letter included an invitation for Homeland Security’s acting director, Elaine Duke, to visit the country before the Trump administration makes its final decision on extending TPS.
TPS for Haitians will expire Jan. 22 and a final decision on extension is expected in November.
Read Letter here