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REP. ENGEL – EXTENDED TPS STATUS FOR HAITIANS IS THE RIGHT DECISION

Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) applauded the Obama Administration’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian beneficiaries for an additional 18 months, until January 22, 2013.  

“I applaud President Obama’s decision to extend TPS for Haitians in the United States.  My Haitian constituents have told me how important it is for their friends and relatives to remain in our country, as Haiti has not recovered from the tragic earthquake and are unable to handle their return.  I shared their request with the Obama Administration, and I’m pleased to say the President has favorably responded,” said Rep. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. 

On May 11, 2011, Rep. Engel joined 53 of his House Colleagues in urging President Obama to extend of TPS.

Nationals of a country may be designated for TPS when that country has suffered substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions and is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals. TPS status has been routinely extended to nationals of various countries which have suffered natural disasters. In the Western Hemisphere alone, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, are covered by TPS designations.

Haitians in the U.S. who are eligible to apply for TPS should go to www.uscis.gov or call the toll-free USCIS Forms Hotline (800) 870-3676.

"I called for Haitians to be given TPS when the hurricanes hit in 2008. We didn't do it then. Following the earthquake, I again called forTPS, which was granted by the Obama Administration. The earthquake was devastating to the Haitian people, and our nation was able to provide a safe haven to those who literally lost everything they had. Returning to Haiti is still too dangerous, and it was the correct humanitarian decision by the Obama Administration to extend TPS as Haiti rebuilds.

“My district is the proud home of many Haitian immigrants,and this TPS extension is a great first step.  There are 55,000 Haitians who have approved immigration applications to join their families in the United States – many in my district in Spring Valley – but are delayed due to bureaucratic backlogs.  They need to be moved to the front of the line,” added Rep. Engel.

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