From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CWS Assists Haitians with TPS Deadline Extension
"Lesley Crosson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu, 15 Jul 2010 17:23:44 -0400
Media Contacts: Lesley Crosson, Church World Service, (212) 870-2676,
email@example.com Jan Dragin - 24/7 - phone: (781) 925-1526, e-mail:
>Church World Service
>475 Riverside Drive
>New York, New York 10015
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CWS welcomes extension of Temporary Protected Status application
deadline for Haitians; continues to reach out with education and legal
NEW YORK CITY - July 15, 2010 - Church World Service welcomed the U.S.
government’s decision to give Haitians an additional six months to
apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and affirmed it would
continue to reach out to Haitians in the United States with immigration
legal information and assistance.
Originally July 20, 2010, the application deadline is now January 18,
2011. Haitian TPS allows successful applicants to live temporarily and
work legally in the United States, and thus to contribute financially to
the rebuilding of Haiti.
“During the six months since the January 12 earthquake, Haitians in
the United States have been preoccupied with grieving the loss of family
and friends and ensuring the survival of their family members in
Haiti,” noted Erol Kekic, Director of the CWS Immigration and
Refugee Program, New York City. “Even for the undocumented among
them, applying for TPS has not necessarily been the priority.
“In addition,” he said, “many have been hesitant or even afraid
to apply, some because they assume they won’t qualify or can’t
afford the application fee, others because they wrongly fear that if
they apply and are rejected, they will be deported to Haiti immediately.
In fact, the U.S. government is not deporting people to Haiti at this
Haitians granted TPS will be allowed to remain in the U.S. until July
22, 2011. The U.S. government will re-examine its grant of TPS for
Haiti before its expiration period to decide if TPS should be extended. The
U.S. has extended TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua for the past 11
years, and for El Salvador for nine years.
Over the past six months, CWS offices and affiliates in cities with
Haitian communities, including New York City and Miami, have worked
together with other community groups to offer TPS workshops; to address
“myths and facts” about TPS in radio, newspaper and television
interviews, and to leaflet Haitian community events with accurate
information in English and Kreyol.
The agency and its affiliates also have offered authorized immigration
legal services, or referral to such services, to Haitians wanting to
apply for TPS or with such other needs as visitor visa extensions,
deferred action and family-based petitions.
For example, a grant to Church World Service from the Fund for New
Citizens at The New York Community Trust (www.nycommunitytrust.org)
enabled CWS’s New York City office to join forces with CAMBA Legal
Services, Catholic Charities and the New York Immigration Coalition to
ensure that as many Haitians as possible in Greater New York City
receive accurate information so they are able to make an informed
decision about applying for TPS.
The groups are working together to encourage Haitians to call the
non-governmental New York State Immigration Hotline (from within New
York state, 800-566-7636; from outside New York state, 212-419-3737),
which helps connect potential TPS applicants with community-based
organizations in Greater New York City that are authorized to practice
immigration law. Those organizations also are counseling potential
applicants about avoiding unlicensed immigration legal services
providers, or notarios, who take advantage of vulnerable populations.
“We haven’t exhausted all outreach possibilities,” said CWS
Associate Director for Immigration Tara Pinkham, New York City. “I n
fact, we feel that our outreach efforts are really beginning to bear
fruit. We are glad that we now have an additional six months to reach
aitians with accurate TPS information and legal advice so that they can
make informed decisions about their immigration case.”
Pinkham added, “We advise any Haitian wishing to apply for TPS to
seek legal counsel, as there are important eligibility requirements and
filing deadlines that must be met.”
An international humanitarian agency, CWS also is providing immediate
and longer-term post-earthquake assistance in Haiti, and has organized
support for 63 medical evacuees from Haiti, flown for care in the United
States along with 48 accompaniers.
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