MIRAMAR, Fla. – President Joe Biden extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians across America on Saturday, potentially saving thousands from deportation.
“Every day is a good day to be Haitian, but today is extra special,” said Florida State Rep. Marie Woodson.
Haitians not only celebrating Haitian Heritage Month Saturday night in Miramar, but also celebrating what could be a path to permanent citizenship.
“We were very disappointed when the Trump Administration terminated TPS for Haiti and other nations,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of F.A.N.M.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Saturday an 18-month designation of temporary protected status, which means eligible Haitian nationals living in the United States can apply for citizenship.
And TPS also lessens the threat of deportation.
“Haiti has so many issues now, people cannot go back,” said Woodson. “You have insecurity, you have instability, you also have Covid.”
On top of those rough conditions, many are still living in the streets, recovering from the earthquakes and the massacres, kidnapping and raping of women and girls.
Are all the more reason TPS is welcome news for Haitians.
“They are very pivotal to our community, to our economy and when you are living in limbo, in terms of your status, it’s just not it’s not American,” said Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam.
“For the first time in years, they’ll be able to sleep,” added Bastein.”Have a good night sleep without worrying about having to pack their bags to go back to a nation that is in turmoil right now.”
Haitians who decide to come to the United States after May 21 will not be eligible for TPS.