Haitians in US can seek Temporary Protected Status beginning tomorrow listen01/20/10 Seán Kinane
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Beginning tomorrow Haitian nationals in the U.S. will be able to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Any Haitian who was in the U.S. before the earthquake devastated their home country is eligible for 18 months amnesty from deportation.
Stuart Dresser, director of the Tampa Field Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced in a press conference this afternoon that the application window opens tomorrow. “During the designated period, eligible individuals are not removable from the United States for immigration purposes. They can not be, in general, detained by the Department of Homeland Security or its components. They are allowed to apply for employment authorization and they may apply for travel authorization.”
Dresser expects between 100,000 and 200,000 undocumented Haitians will apply for TPS during the 180-day-long registration period. Fees totaling up to $470 are required for fingerprinting and for TPS and employment forms.
Dresser estimates that processing applications for between 20,000 and 25,000 Haitian nationals in the Tampa Bay area will take “many weeks.”
They will be “Students, people who are here on various employment provisions, visitors for pleasure, visitors for business; a wide variety of status. And also those who may have fallen outside of the immigration laws but otherwise cannot be returned to their country at this point,” according to Dresser.