Biden Administration Expands Protections for Haitian Migrants

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced on Monday that it would offer new special protections to more than 100,000 Haitians who were in the United States as of Nov. 6, including the permission to work and stay in the country for at least 18 months.

The administration also announced that Haitians whose existing protections, known as temporary protected status, were expiring would have an additional 18 months to live and work in the United States, as conditions in Haiti have deteriorated precipitously in recent months.

The new designation is especially important for the thousands of Haitians who arrived in the United States after the last cutoff for temporary status, in 2021. Many have been struggling to find their footing as they file applications for asylum and wait as long as a year to receive permission to work in the country legally.

There are about 101,000 Haitians in the United States who already had temporary status and another 53,000 who have applied. Monday’s announcement could expand eligibility to another 110,000 Haitians who were in the country as of Nov. 6, the Homeland Security Department said.

“The conditions in Haiti, including socioeconomic challenges, political instability, and gang violence and crime — aggravated by environmental disaster — compelled the humanitarian relief we are providing today,” the homeland security secretary, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, said in a statement.

More on U.S. Immigration

  • Title 42: Fifteen states have intervened to try to keep in place the pandemic-related policy that allows the government to swiftly expel migrants arriving from Mexico. The motion to intervene seeks to delay a court order that would lift the expulsion measure on Dec. 21.
  • Top Border Official Resigns: The commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned after a standoff with the Homeland Security secretary, who had demanded that he either step down or be fired.
  • Waiting for Refugee Status: As the Biden administration prioritizes resettling people fleeing Ukraine and Afghanistan, many other refugees are waiting years in a system struggling to rebuild.

The situation in Haiti has been volatile for years, but the assassination of the country’s president in July 2021 led to even more turmoil. And in recent months, gang violence has worsened, cutting off access to medicine, drinking water and food. The

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