Biden to Protect Hundreds of Thousands of Haitians From Deportation

The Biden administration plans to protect from deportation around 300,000 Haitians and allow them to work in the country, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, the latest move to shield immigrants from returning to countries in dire conditions.

The administration’s plan would make Haitians who arrived after November 2022 and before early June eligible for temporary protected status, the three people said on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. It comes amid a flurry of recent immigration actions by President Biden. Those include efforts to help undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens more easily gain U.S. citizenship and block asylum claims at the southern border.

Mr. Biden has shifted toward a more restrictive stance at the southern border, which some see as an attempt to bolster his re-election chances. He has drawn criticism of his policies from both sides — from the left, including immigration activists who condemn his crackdown on asylum, and from the right, including former President Donald J. Trump, who view him as being too lenient to those who enter the country illegally.

The Biden administration has used temporary protected status over the past few years to protect hundreds of thousands of migrants, including from countries like Venezuela, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Haiti.

The protections for Haiti came as violence and upheaval ravaged Haiti, including the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, in 2021. Gangs have taken control of much of the country.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Haiti with temporary protected status in 2021 and renewed that status in late 2022.

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