In yet another depiction of the nation’s flawed immigration policies, the Obama administration is extending a humanitarian measure designed to temporarily shield illegal immigrants from deportation during emergencies for the fifth time in five years. It’s officially known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) but should be renamed permanent-or at least long-term-protected status.
It involves tens of thousands of Haitians, who were originally granted TPS after an earthquake devastated the poverty-stricken Caribbean island in 2010. Then Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the benefit would last only 18 months and be limited to Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. The goal, according to Napolitano was to provide a “temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who are currently in the United States and whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this Administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.”
More than five years later the Obama administration continues to allow the same group of foreigners, who would otherwise be deported, remain in the U.S. under the never-ending “temporary” measure. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson made it official this week, extending TPS for Haitians an additional 18 months, through July 22, 2017. This will grant Haitians authorization to work in the U.S. and receive other taxpayer-funded benefits. “Haiti was initially designated for TPS on Jan. 21, 2010, after a major earthquake devastated the country,” the government announcement reads. “Following consultations with other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security has determined that current conditions in Haiti support extending the designation period for current TPS beneficiaries.”