Immigrants from Haiti Allowed to Stay in United States under Temporary Protected Status

Austin Kocher, PhD
3 min readMay 24, 2021

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Over the weekend, the Biden administration granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian immigrants in the United States.

TPS is a special immigrant status that is granted by the government in circumstances when it would not be ethical (or sometimes even logistically possible) to deport people to the country due to political and social conflict, environmental disaster, or other situations. It also allows immigrants in the country legally to stay longer than may normally be allowed.

One of the underlying principles to TPS is that deportation should not be a death sentence.

In a press release from Saturday, May 22, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas said,

“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”

Haiti is a country in the Caribbean with about 11 million people (about as many as Ohio) and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

Just a month ago, Reuters reported that Jovenel Moïse’s government has allied itself with violent criminal gangs to maintain its grip on power and to suppress dissent. Two months ago, Vice News also published a short documentary showing the growing political unrest in the country.

Mother Jones journalist Fernanda Echavarri describes that that 18-month extension of TPS could benefit as many as 150,000 Haitians living in the United States.

Austin Kocher, PhD

I study America’s immigration enforcement system. Assistant Professor at TRAC. Graduate of OSU Geography. Online at