JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced it would issue a new designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. Today’s announcement follows calls from Chairman Menendez urging the administration to designate TPS for eligible Haitians in the U.S. currently unable to return safely to their homeland due to a compounding set of devastation from national disasters, political unrest, and extraordinary conditions facing the island.
“I applaud the Biden administration’s decision to support the people of Haiti and reaffirm our commitment to a more humane and principled approach to immigration. As Haiti passes through an acute political and security crisis and faces enduring humanitarian challenges, this decision provides urgently needed protections for eligible Haitians in the United States. The last thing our country should be doing is forcing an entire community in the U.S. to decide between packing up their lives and tearing their families apart by self-deporting, or becoming undocumented and forced into the shadows of our society. All one needs to do is take a look at the conditions on the ground in Haiti to understand why today’s announcement to issue a new TPS designation will avoid destabilizing the island’s fragile recovery efforts and keep approximately 150,000 individuals from harm’s way.”
Established by the U.S. Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, TPS is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit for foreign nationals from certain countries who are unable to return safely to their home country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other extraordinary conditions.