Bishops urge president to grant Haitians temporary protected status

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Catholic bishops have called on President George W. Bush to grant Haitians temporary protected status for the next 18 months, citing pressing humanitarian reasons. Temporary protected status, or TPS, permits nationals of a designated nation who are living in the U.S. to reside in this country legally and to qualify for work authorization. Such a designation is based on a determination that armed conflict, political unrest, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions exist in a nation and that the return of that country’s nationals would further destabilize the nation and potentially bring harm to those who go back. “Haiti meets the standard for TPS because it has experienced political tumult, four natural disasters and severe food shortages in the last eight months alone, not to mention the devastation of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004,” said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The letter, dated Oct. 9, was released Oct. 14 by the USCCB Office of Media Relations.