New York City Bar Association’s Statement Regarding Extension of Haiti’s Designation for Temporary Protected Status Under Immigration and Nationality Act

The New York City Bar Association calls upon Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend Haiti’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s current 18-month designation of Haiti for TPS expires on July 22. Extension of TPS for Haiti is critical to protect New York residents who fled the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and who would still face dangerous and often life-threatening conditions if forced to return to Haiti.

Haiti’s initial designation for TPS occurred days after the 2010 earthquake. Subsequent natural, political, and economic disasters have continued to wreak havoc. In the past year, the United Nations apologized for and took moral responsibility to address the outbreak of cholera amid a continued health crisis which continues to cost Haitian lives each day. The October 2016 hurricane that hit the country further delayed earthquake recovery efforts and spread the Cholera disease with catastrophic results.

The designation of Haiti for TPS is an issue that will directly impact many New Yorkers.  Approximately 94,000 New Yorkers originate from Haiti. About 50,000 Haitians who arrived in the US prior to January 12, 2011, one year after the earthquake, are currently protected by TPS.

Deporting Haitians at this moment would send thousands back to a country still struggling to recover from Hurricane Matthew, the cholera epidemic, and the resulting insecurity felt across the country. The recommendation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that conditions have improved enough to end the TPS of Haitians is premature and not grounded in fact. Extending Haiti’s TPS designation is the humane and appropriate course of action.

The letter can be read here.

About the Association

The New York City Bar Association (, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.