Patterico's Pontifications

1/15/2010

Haitians in the U.S. Get a Time-Out

Filed under: Government,International,Obama — DRJ @ 7:59 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that any Haitian in the U.S. before January 13, 2010 — whether they were here legally or illegally — will be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and allowed to stay in America for another 18 months. The Administration says there could be 200,000 illegal Haitians:

“Homeland Security said this benefit will not apply to illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. after the Jan. 12 earthquake, but it is unclear how immigration authorities will be able to differentiate pre-earthquake Haitians from post-earthquake ones.

Napolitano estimates there are between 100,000 to 200,000 Haitians living in the US illegally either because they over-stayed their legal status or entered illegally.”

I bet that’s a “conservative” estimate.

Secretary Napolitano said this was her decision and “the judgment of President Obama” and others that this is a situation “TPS was designed to cover.” Napolitano also said the new policy is a way of providing financial assistance to Haiti:

“In a way it’s sort of a timeout for Haitians in the United States who can begin to work, can get authorization to work and have some resources then to send back to Haiti themselves — which is also a form of indirect economic relief.”

From a legal standpoint, the Attorney General has the authority under Section 244(b)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to grant Temporary Protected Status to aliens provided:

(B) the Attorney General finds that-

(i) there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster in the state resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in the area affected,

(ii) the foreign state is unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return to the state of aliens who are nationals of the state, and

(iii) the foreign state officially has requested designation under this subparagraph; or

(C) the Attorney General finds that there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety, unless the Attorney General finds that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the national interest of the United States.

Under Section 244(b)(2)(B), a designation of TPS cannot last longer than 18 months although it can be extended if the U.S. Attorney General determines the conditions that led to the designation still exist.

Exit questions:

  • Section 208(b)(2) lists exceptions for aliens, such as criminals, who cannot claim asylum. How does the Obama Administration effectively evaluate whether a Haitian who is in the U.S. illegally is a criminal (setting aside the fact s/he is here illegally) and/or poses a threat, and will it exclude these aliens?
  • Section 208(b)(3) apparently allows an alien’s spouse and children living outside the U.S. who are not otherwise eligible to live here to join an alien who has asylum. Will it apply in these cases?
  • Finally, under Section 244(a)(1)(B), the Secretary can issue a work permit or otherwise authorize employment for aliens who were not previously eligible to work, such as illegal aliens. The Obama Administration has authorized that here. While I sympathize with the Haitian people, how realistic is it to add 200,000 or more illegals to the workforce when there aren’t enough jobs for Americans?
  • — DRJ

    25 Responses to “Haitians in the U.S. Get a Time-Out”

    1. Never let a crisis go to waste…and so it begins.

      Gazzer (e940fc)

    2. will they be registering them to vote as they do the other forms?

      redc1c4 (fb8750)

    3. oh well….. at least its nice to see that the system w*rks.

      redc1c4 (fb8750)

    4. someday we may have to flee the poverty and oppression of our own little country

      happyfeet (e9e587)

    5. true dat, feet. thank gawd i have friends in Texas…. you want i should pick you up on our way out of town?

      redc1c4 (fb8750)

    6. maybe so… I’m definitely not buying a home here in LA so I’ll be free to head back to Texas when the inevitable happens here in California… the math is very, very dire.

      happyfeet (e9e587)

    7. #

      Never let a crisis go to waste…and so it begins.

      Comment by Gazzer — 1/15/2010 @ 8:30 pm

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

      Patricia (b05e7f)

    8. Perhaps they can relocate all of those Haitians to Hyde Park?
      Or, there is a lot of vacant property in Detroit.

      AD - RtR/OS! (bc0057)

    9. What’s so awesome is that it is generally liberals from Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, etc. who demand these sorts of amnesty deals. It would be great if once — just once — they got to experience what it was like to be flooded with an onslaught of immigrants who demanded social services. Maybe they would feel a tad bit differently.

      JVW (48cbba)

    10. Yes. Bubba wasn’t too happy when all of those Mariel Boatlift scum interred in that AR Federal Prison decided to riot.

      AD - RtR/OS! (bc0057)

    11. I’m surprised she didn’t allow them to vote in MA.

      pesto (44bf37)

    12. “Never let a crisis go to waste…and so it begins.”

      Yeah. Never waste an opportunity to send people back to devastation. FFS.

      imdw (603c39)

    13. A time out? Was there ever a time in?

      If the government actually did go after the Haitians here illegally eighteen months from now, wouldn’t that discriminate against the Haitians, since it would seem to be the first group the government ever tried to deport for being here illegally?

      The sarcastic Dana (474dfc)

    14. AS with most recipients of the TPS, you can forget about the temporary part, Honduras, Nicaragua, now
      Haiti. Now that argument means you can effectively never send them back, which you would be more honest
      in making, Yes Gitmo’s status as a detention facility for Cuban migrants, arose out of that
      Clinton experience in 1980

      ian cormac (dfb136)

    15. Am I high, or are the doctor and patient in this video both mannequins? Please, don’t tell me these mannequins made it onto the ship going to Haiti.

      http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/01/16/usns.comfort.departure.cnn

      Wesson (9fddaa)

    16. One would think they would want to return to help those that need help in their own country.
      I guess that is to altruistic.
      I wonder how they survive in this country?
      None of the media types asked.

      Paul Albers (7adcc2)

    17. Aren’t Teh One and his minions just magical? 200,000 more jobs have been ‘saved or created’. That’s 4,000 new ACORN workers per state, people!

      Icy Texan (fb1d52)

    18. If your complaint is a general one about immigration policy or enforcement, that’s fine. This, however, is the absolute right time to give temporary protected status to illegals from Haiti.

      You already quoted the important bit:
      “(i) there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster in the state resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in the area affected,”

      Would anyone disagree that the earthquake in Haiti and the general devestation qualifies as a “substantial, but temporary, disruption of living condition in the area affected”? I can’t imagine any administration, regardless of their overall immigration policy, doing otherwise.

      zombyboy (27a876)

    19. “One would think they would want to return to help those that need help in their own country.”

      Wow this is smart.

      imdw (5c4a25)

    20. you know, i work off of a street in northern virginia in direct sight of the capital. every day about 100 day workers gather to get their jobs. I would be surprised if a single one of them were legal.

      Our immigration laws are an open and flagrant joke.

      Our borders are like hooverdam, cracked apart, and our border patrol is like one little finger put in the bottom of a 50 yard crack. i’m not putting down the border patrol, i am just recognizing that there isn’t nearly enough of it to do the job.

      Now i wouldn’t mind a truly closed border, but we don’t have that. we have one that is 99.9% open. so for me it is hard to get worked up about letting the haitians stay. its not like we were about to throw most of them out anyway, so f— it.

      But at the same time it is not a boon to haiti for thier best and brightest to be drained out of their sh–hole of a country and into ours. how good can a country be if their best citizens continually leave it?

      A.W. (e7d72e)

    21. “we have one that is 99.9% open.”

      If we had that, then we would see engineers, dentists, doctors, economists, etc… able to walk into this country and search for jobs doing those things. Unfortunately, that is not what we have.

      imdw (c5488f)

    22. imdw

      mmm, i find myself oddly agreeing with you. yeah, the only ones we really apply immigration laws to are the people we should want the most.

      A.W. (e7d72e)

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