Haiti – FLASH : The future of Haitians under TPS, the State Department remains cautious
Earlier this week, US State Department Spokesman Edward “Ned” Price at a press briefing answered two questions on Haiti, among others.
Question : Given the current political instability in Haiti, would the State Department recommend the Biden administration to continue giving TPS, temporary protected status, to Haitians who have been seeking refuge in the U.S. since the 2010 earthquake ?
Ned Price : Well, by law, TPS designations are made by the Department of Homeland Security after consultation with the appropriate agencies. So we wouldn’t want to comment on any sort of internal deliberations when it comes to TPS.
Question : Can you comment on the political instability there currently ? Do you think there will be more asylum seekers ?
Ned Price : Well, on – with the situation broadly, what I would say is that it is the responsibility of Haiti’s government to organize elections in 2021 that are free, that are fair, that are credible. We join the international community in calling Haitian stakeholders to come together to find a way forward. What we have said is that the Haitian people deserve the opportunity to elect their leaders and to restore Haiti’s democratic institutions. If we have more on TPS, we’ll be certain to let you know.
Let’s recall that in an interview on the Spanish American network Univision, Vice President Kamala Harris declared “[…] We have a bill on immigration that we will propose as part of our priorities so that people become American citizens. […] People living in the United States under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) including nearly 60,000 Haitians and those under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will have a direct pass for permanent residence legal […]”
Should be noted that the caution of the State Department to respond specifically to the future of Haitians under TPS can be explained by the fact that the law on the major reform of immigration in the USA, must be voted by 60 votes in the Senate, whose the Democrats only hold 50 seats like the Republicans. A vote that is far from certain given the opposition of Republicans to this project, but also the opposition of some moderate Democratic senators.
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