Friday, January 15, 2010

DHS May Designate Haiti for TPS

In the wake of the untold devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) has asked DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) to designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS, provided for by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, is a means by which the US may provide a safe haven to nationals of countries where it would be unsafe or disruptive for them to return. Given the current situation in Haiti, the country certainly fits the bill. In order to be eligible for TPS, the applicant must be a national of the designated country, continuously physically present in the US since the initial date TPS was designated, continually residing in the US since a date set by the attorney general (usually some time prior to the designation date), admissible under the INA, not convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors, and able to provide the evidence listed by the government. While rescue and relief efforts are of primary concern at this point, a TPS designation for Haiti would go a long way to help relieve some of the country's suffering.

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