Written by Ashton Snyder on
 July 2, 2024

Biden Administration Halts Deportations of Haitian Immigrants

The Biden administration has announced a significant policy change affecting thousands of Haitian immigrants in the United States.

According to Daily Wire, the new order prevents the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants from Haiti, extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to 309,000 Haitians as of June 3, 2024.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed the order on Friday, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas citing ongoing humanitarian concerns in Haiti as the primary reason.

Approximately 200,000 Haitians who had already been shielded from deportation under TPS will have their protections extended by 18 months.

Extension of Temporary Protected Status

The new directive significantly expands the number of Haitians eligible for TPS, adding around 309,000 individuals who were in the United States on or before June 3, 2024.

A press release from DHS stated that Secretary Mayorkas determined the extension was necessary due to the continued dire conditions in Haiti. Haiti continues to struggle with widespread violence and insecurity, which has exacerbated the country's lack of access to essential services such as healthcare, food, and water.

Natural disasters, including flooding, mudslides, storms, and earthquakes, frequently plague the nation, further compounding the challenges faced by its citizens. Violence has surged, with incidents involving the deaths of political leaders and missionaries, highlighting the perilous situation on the ground.

U.S. Military Response

In response to escalating gang violence in Port-au-Prince, a team of U.S. Marines was deployed in March to protect the American embassy in Haiti.

Secretary Mayorkas stated, "We are providing this humanitarian relief to Haitians already present in the United States given the conditions that existed in their home country as of June 3, 2024."

The Biden administration has previously utilized TPS to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, most notably with an order affecting hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans last year.

Political Reactions and Implications

The decision to extend TPS to additional Haitians has sparked debate among political leaders, reflecting the ongoing contention over immigration policies.

Despite the criticism, DHS maintains that the extension is a necessary and humanitarian response to the severe and persistent issues in Haiti. The administration's move underscores a broader strategy to address the needs of vulnerable populations while balancing national interests.

Conclusion

The Biden administration's order to prevent the deportation of thousands of Haitian immigrants reflects a response to ongoing violence and insecurity in Haiti. The extension of TPS covers 309,000 additional Haitians in the U.S. as of June 3, 2024. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited humanitarian concerns, aligning the decision with the core objectives of the TPS law. The country continues to face significant challenges, including natural disasters and increasing violence. This move is consistent with the administration's previous use of TPS to provide relief, as seen with Venezuelan immigrants. The order occurs amidst Republican calls for stronger border security.

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