As you can see from my post earlier this a.m., I’ve been confused! However, The Wall Street Journal has now reported that thousands of Haitians in the US illegally can stay for another 18 months —to work here and send money back to Haiti!
In making the announcement yesterday, Janet Napolitano warned that this only applies to Haitians here before Tuesday of this week. So don’t try to get here now, you will be turned back, she said! Good luck with that.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano extended temporary amnesty to Haitians who were illegally inside the U.S. before Tuesday’s earthquake, but warned that the Coast Guard would turn back any new refugees fleeing the devastation.
The so-called temporary protected status, or TPS, doesn’t apply to any Haitians who may try now to get into the U.S. If refugees take to the sea—the normal reaction to turmoil throughout Haiti’s recent history—officials in the U.S. and other countries will have to grapple with how to deal with a new wave of immigrants, most of whom will arrive without visas.
Ms. Napolitano warned that no new arrivals would get amnesty and the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities would move quickly to stop new migrants. “People should not leave Haiti with the false belief that they will be entitled to TPS in the United States,” she said. She also said, “We are seeing no signs of any sort of migration of that nature at this point.”
TPS has been offered to victims of natural disasters before, particularly to refugees from El Salvador in 2001, as well as from Nicaragua, Honduras, Somalia and Sudan. But until Friday, TPS had never been granted to Haitian refugees, despite calls for relief following hurricanes and civil strife, mainly because successive White House administrations have feared it would trigger a stampede of refugees seeking haven in the U.S.
Immigration advocacy groups are tickled pink with the decision!
“It’s a good day!” said Cheryl Little, executive director of Miami-based Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, a Haitian activist group, after Ms. Napolitano’s announcement.
Ms. Little said the tens of thousands of Haitians in the U.S. who now will be eligible to work will be able to remit money back to Haiti, which she said should “discourage some Haitians from risking their lives at sea.”
Ms. Little, where are they going to get jobs?
For information on TPS, go here.