Success: Haitian Refugees Granted Temporary Legal Status

Three days after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted temporary protected status to Haitian refugees in the United States. 

Refugee Council USA, a coalition of organizations including Human Rights First, Amnesty International USA and International Rescue Committee, had called on President Obama to grant temporary protected status for refugees. Care2 and other groups ran petitions in support of TPS for Haitian refugees. And Congress finally joined the call, too. 

Granting Haitian refugees in the U.S. temporary protected status will not only protect them from being deported at a time when their country simply cannot take them in. It also allows these refugees to work legally in the U.S. while they are here – thus allowing them to earn money to send back home to family and loved ones in desperate need to help. 

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the ranking Republican senator on the foreign relations committe, supported the move, stating: “It is in the foreign policy interest of the United States and a humanitarian imperative of the highest order to have all people of Haitian descent in a position to contribute towards the recovery of this island nation.”

You can learn all about temporary protected status from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Find out how you can help the people of Haiti.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O'Leary:
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - U.S. Army Lt. Col. Hector Paz of U.S. Military Assistance Advocacy Group, U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, D.R., carries an injured girl to receive medical treament after being evacuated from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew stationed in Clearwater, Fla., Jan. 14, 2010. Hundreds of U.S. personnel have been evacuated from Haiti in the aftermath of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that stuck outside Port-au-Prince on January 12. 

64 comments

Carol H.
Past Member 6 years ago

There is such thing as temporary they are here for the duration and that is a fact.
They are going to take jobs away from the Americans just as the Cubans did and that is a fact that nobody has even said but I can see the handwriting on the wall.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S.6 years ago

the haitian people that lost their homes are the ones that are considered refugee status I wish all human being would concur with each other in this so wonderful world of non love now all over this werid paper stuff we print now and it causes such a loss of love that it is now sickening I am sick from it ok how humans now think the world has gone crazy I see people dont care enough and for the ones that do care I am finding it is getting out weighed I guess the governments will win over the mass population that we are beginning to aquire within this planets structure I see why we now look to outer space as a place to live since we can produce at unequalling and unparallel amounts life has exploded since we now can live longer with modern medicine that is all there is but it is life we still have to protect it since it is breathing and alive please just remember that while you breath on the planet

Jacquie P.
Jackie P.6 years ago

The petition isn't against Haiti. Take the time to read and educate yourself on how selfish we are for taking them off their land and taking over their country. The US does nothing without gain. If you really gave a crap about Haiti you'd want them to rebuild their country with our help not under out stipulations. We want their gold and oil just like we wanted Iraqi oil. Don't fool yourself. And take a stand for your own fellow Americans who need help here. Instead of being all over the globe helping our own citizens we are out guarding our interest abroad. I know that's tough to understand so take in on slowly.. your government lies!

Nina L.
Nina L.6 years ago

I cannot believe that there is a petition against people from Haiti.
How can you be so selfish? This is exactly why our planet is in such trouble, too many people are only interested in saving there own little world, regardless of others!! My only hope are all these people who are willing to give and to share! NINA

Jacquie P.
Jackie P.6 years ago

When are we going to take care of our own vets and seniors?

Jacquie P.
Jackie P.6 years ago

We have people right here in the USA that are CITIZENS of this country that need our help. It's crap. They can go back to Haiti and help rebuild it along with all the other Haitians. If you are in this country wrongly you should not be allowed to stay regardless.

Nellie K A.
Nellie K Adaba6 years ago

They need to be relocated- have asylum/refugee status. It's a priority. They are not illegal. They have no other choice. There's nothing left in Haiti, everything destroyed, deforestation....

Claudia L.
Claudia L.6 years ago

this was great to hear and im glad it happened so quickly

Diane Black
Diane Black6 years ago

It shouldn't take an earthquake for a country to foster humanity. All countries should have more open doors to developing countries. Poverty is not considered a reason to be classified as a refugee in Canada for example. To be a refugee there has to be the threat of death. Dying from starvation is not one of them!!!

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan6 years ago

Great. Thank God.