Fri | Jul 19, 2019

US lawmakers call for gov't to reinstate Temporary Protected Status programme

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 12:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, CMC – More than 100 United States lawmakers have called for President Donald Trump to reinstate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including Haitians, legally living in the country.

Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Eliot Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Monday led a bipartisan group of 110 members of Congress in calling for the Trump Administration to reinstate the TIPS.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke last November announced the decision to terminate the TIPS designation for Haiti with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.

This decision follows a decision by Washington that Haiti had made considerable progress, and that the country’s designation will likely not be extended past six months.

The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute.

Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist.

The bipartisan group released their letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the State Department released a series of internal documents showing the Trump administration’s overtly political decisions to terminate TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

“We believe that the warnings that then-Secretary (Rex) Tillerson ignored – that mass deportations could destabilise the region, trigger a new surge of unauthorised immigration, endanger our U.S. foreign policy goals, risk the safety of TPS beneficiaries and their U.S. citizen children and force the separation of families – require reconsideration,” they wrote in their letter to Pompeo.

“Given the implications…. we strongly urge you to reverse your predecessor’s recommendation and conduct a thorough review of the decision-making process that led to it,” they added.

The documents published by the State Department were some of the materials the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed as part of its investigation into Tillerson’s recommendation not to extend TPS for several countries in the Western Hemisphere for political reasons.

The Government Accountability Office has also opened a review of the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate those TPS designations.

Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods.

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