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100,000 Haitians Will Receive Temporary Protected Status

Plus: Harris counts on Guatemala to partner on migration reform, and advocates want to provide free legal representation to immigrants.

Deanna Garcia

May 24, 2021

Credit: Eileen Grench

Credit: Eileen Grench

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

The Biden administration will allow an additional 100,000 Haitians in the U.S. the chance to receive Temporary Protected Status. TPS would protect them from deportation and allow them to receive work permits. Haiti is currently undergoing a political crisis and reports of gang violence, leading many residents to seek protection in the U.S. Immigrant advocates have pushed the Biden administration for months to extend TPS to more Haitians; more than 50,000 Haitians in the U.S. already have TPS. The status will apply to Haitians who were in the U.S. as of May 21. BuzzFeed News 

In other federal immigration news…

Harris Leaning on Guatemala for Migration Reform

Vice President Kamala Harris is having trouble partnering with leaders of Central America’s Northern Triangle countries in an effort to reduce the number of people who migrate north. U.S. federal prosecutors have connected the president of Honduras to the country’s drug-trafficking industry. The president of El Salvador is an authoritarian whose allies expelled five Supreme Court justices and the attorney general to get control of the country’s top court. So Harris is left with Guatemala, and will meet with its and Mexico’s presidents in early June to discuss past failures to stem migrations. Politico 

Advocates Hope to Expand Attorney Access for Immigrants

President Joe Biden issued an executive order last week directing the Department of Justice to devise ways to expand access to public defenders in civil court. Immigrant advocates see Biden’s order as a first step toward one of their goals: expanding access to legal representation for immigrants. Immigrants seeking asylum or fighting their deportation currently have to pay for their own lawyers or hope for pro bono representation. They often have trouble navigating complex immigration court proceedings held in a language they sometimes don’t understand. Immigrants who have legal representation have a far higher chance of winning asylum. The Hill 

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