While the American public focuses on the record-breaking number of illegal aliens apprehended at the southern border, the Biden administration has unveiled another initiative that will incentivize even more unchecked migration.
On May 22, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 100,00 Haitians residing in the United States. According to Secretary Mayorkas, the decision to grant TPS to Haitians follows several issues affecting the Caribbean nation, saying, “Haiti is currently experiencing serious concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty and lack of basic rescores, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
TPS, created by Congress in 1990, was intended to provide non-resident foreign nationals of designated countries temporary protection from removal if their home countries were experiencing ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, an epidemic, or other extraordinary circumstances. Lawful migrants with expiring visas and illegal aliens can apply for the program. Under TPS, recipients are not removable from the U.S., can obtain employment authorization, and may be granted travel approval.
Since the program’s creation, it has not lived up to its initial purpose of being temporary. Since 1990, TPS has often been used as a form of amnesty. For decades, Democratic and Republican presidential administrations have renewed TPS for nationals of 12 designated countries, despite conditions improving in some of those nations. In fact, few aliens have been removed from the U.S. after their TPS ended.
In 2010, Haitians were initially granted TPS after a severe earthquake struck their country. Since then, thousands of foreign nationals from Haiti have remained in the United States thanks to the renewal of the flawed program. As of May 2021, about 320,00 foreign nationals living in the U.S. have TPS, mostly comprised of Central Americans and Haitians.
There’s no question that Haiti has numerous problems affecting its citizenry. However, allowing hundreds of thousands of its countrymen to remain in the U.S. does little to better conditions back home, where they could help improve their country. Additionally, the U.S. should not reward individuals who have violated our immigration laws by overstaying their visas or entering unlawfully, as many TPS recipients have.
There is no reason to expand immigration programs that will likely serve as a magnet for more illegal immigration, compounding the border crisis.
As Director of FAIR’s government relations, RJ Hauman pointed out, this latest move by the administration is putting Americans last, saying, “Anything Secretary Mayorkas does on immigration is not in the national interest and this decision is yet another example.”
He continued, “The original Haitian TPS designation came in 2010 due to an earthquake. The Biden administration is destroying even more public confidence in immigration programs functioning as intended – namely, providing short term relief to people whose nations have been disrupted by a natural disaster or a political crisis.”