Clarke Welcomes Extension of TPS For Haiti and Three Other Countries

Congressional Hearing
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) last week welcomed the Trump Administration’s recent decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which will affect a good many constituents  in her district.

TPS is part of the Federal Immigration Act of 1990, which provides temporary protected status to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

TPS currently protects the rights of more than 50,000 Haitian immigrants and their families to live and work in the United States, about 5,400 of whom live in New York City, predominately in Flatbush, Canarsie, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush as well as in the Queens neighborhoods of Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica and Rosedale.

The Trump Administartion had originally announced plans to deport the Haitians and those from other countires under TPS in July of last year.

But last week, the Department of Homeland Security filed notice that it is extending TPS for nationals from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sundan until January 2, 2020.

The notice, published in the Federal Register March 1, said the extension came in response to a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in a lawsuit challenging plans to end the special status for migrants from the four countries, according to initial reports.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

“To be clear, the Trump Administration was forced to act due to ongoing litigation spearheaded by TPS holders. While I welcome this news, this temporary stop-gap still leaves far too many families in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety,” said Clarke.

TPS beneficiaries from these four nations will retain their status while the preliminary injunction remains in effect, as long as an individual’s TPS is not withdrawn because of individual ineligibility.

However, a reprieve still hasn’t come for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients from Liberia who face deportation action in the coming weeks. DED protections for Liberian nationals is scheduled to expire March 31.

“Additionally, thousands of DED holders will lose their status in the coming weeks. I urge the Administartion to also act on their behalf without delay,” added Clarke.

The news comes as House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), plan to re-introduce the Dream Act on March 12 with new language providing protections for both TPS and DED recipients.

“We can no longer afford to play political games with people’s lives. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects DREAMers, TPS and DED beneficiaries,” said Clarke.

“That’s why I am proud to be a co-lead on the DREAM and Promise Act (HR 6). This bill will include a path to citizenship for Dreamers, as well as for people covered by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). This bill builds upon the DREAM Act, the American Promise Act, and the ASPIRE TPS Act, which I introduced last Congress,” she added.