A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation offers useful information for organizations dealing with Haitian families and children and those seeking Temporary Protective Status (TPS), a short-term program implemented by the U.S. government that in part prevents Haitian nationals from being removed from the United States.
The deadline to apply for TPS is July 20, 2010, and an application must be filed for each individual in the family, including children. The Casey Foundation contends that child-serving agencies and advocates should be aware of this while providing services to Haitian nationals.
In January, the government implemented a humanitarian parole policy allowing certain “orphan” children from Haiti to enter the U.S. temporarily. The report details this policy and other federal programs for Haitian migrants.
The Casey Foundation contends that registry of unaccompanied and separated children; temporary and long-term family-based care; rules specifying residential care as temporary; and a ban on using large-scale residential facilities as long-term care solutions are all principles that child welfare organizations should adhere to.
To assist families, many law firms and immigrant defense organizations have organized free TPS clinics and outreach efforts nationwide in an effort to spread information and lessen financial load.
With the influx of Haitian refugees after the January earthquake, the United States is now home to the largest concentration of Haitians outside of Haiti. Florida and New York have the highest percentage of Haitian-born with 45.7 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively.