On Thursday, January 25, 2018, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers’ Guild and Margaret Satterthwaite, NYU School of Law professor and director of the Global Justice Clinic (GJC), filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain records documenting the reasons behind the U.S. government’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. NYU School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic provided legal counsel.
On November 20, 2017, the Trump Administration terminated TPS for Haiti, stating that the conditions caused by the earthquake no longer exist. Many reports, including Extraordinary Conditions: A Statutory Analysis of Haiti’s Qualification for TPS, published by the GJC in October, show that families in Haiti continue to face displacement, homelessness, one of the worst cholera epidemics in the world, hunger, and other challenges that make Haiti unsafe for return. The termination will affect the estimated 58,000 Haitian TPS holders and their families. TPS is set to terminate in July of 2019.
President Trump’s recent racist statements towards certain foreign nations, including Haiti, make the public’s right to access information that influenced the decision to terminate TPS that much more urgent.