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Biden administration extends temporary legal status to 300,000 Haitians, drawing a contrast to Trump

SAN DIEGO (AP) — About 300,000 Haitians already in the United States will now be eligible for temporary legal status allowing them to remain in the U.S. and work because conditions in the strife-torn Caribbean nation are considered unsafe for them to return, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.

The decision marks a major expansion of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians and won praise from many in the Haitian and immigration advocacy community.

The TPS designation was created by Congress in 1990 to prevent deportations to countries suffering natural disasters or civil strife. The Homeland Security secretary has the ability to grant temporary protection for different nationalities based on conditions in their home countries. It’s generally for a designated period of time, and people have to apply for the protection and prove they qualify for it. The protection also allows them to apply for a work permit.

This expansion will apply to Haitians who were in the United States on June 3 and will last until Feb. 3, 2026. Anyone arriving after June 3 would not qualify. Separately, Mayorkas also extended the Temporary Protected Status of an estimated 200,000 Haitians who already had it. Their extension will also last through Feb. 3, 2026.

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