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People demonstrate as a trial begins to try to protect Haitian immigrants under the Temporary Protected Status from being deported back to Haiti in 2019. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 100,000 Haitians living in the United States will have the chance to receive Temporary Protected Status under a new Biden administration directive announced on Saturday.

Why it matters: Haiti continues to experience political, social and economic unrest with COVID-19 cases on the rise and President Jovenel Moïse's ongoing refusal to step down.

Details: The TPS designation allows Haitians — or individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti — in the U.S. as of May 21 to apply for the protective status, which will last for 18 months.

  • More than 50,000 Haitians already have the designation from an Obama administration decision after a 2010 earthquake devastated the small nation.

What they're saying: “Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement on Saturday.

  • The Homeland Security Department thinks “persistent effects of the 2010 earthquake have also exacerbated the severity of the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti currently,” Mayorkas said.

The big picture: Though the Trump administration had attempted to end the Obama-era designation, there is some bipartisan support for expanding the protections.

  • Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) co-authored a letter sent to Mayorkas, calling for the continued designation for Haiti.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 18, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Haiti's earthquake shows the reality of the disaster divide

A soldier stands over rubble in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Aug. 17. Photo: Richard Pierrin/Getty Images

Disasters like the earthquake that struck Haiti on Aug. 14 are caused by nature but exacerbated by human inaction.

Why it matters: Natural disasters will always be with us — and some will be worsened by the effects of human-made climate change — but it's well within our power to keep them from becoming mass killers.

Updated Aug 17, 2021 - World

Tropical Storm Grace complicates Haiti rescue efforts

Buildings damaged due the earthquake in Saint-Louis-du-Sud, Haiti. Photo: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tropical Storm Grace lashed Haiti Monday into Tuesday, complicating rescue efforts following Saturday's earthquake that left at least 1,941 people dead, nearly 10,000 injured and tens of thousands homeless.

The big picture: The temporary pause in search and rescue efforts due heavy rain and strong winds from the storm exacerbated growing anger and frustration in affected areas, AP reported.

Pelosi announces bid for re-election ahead of 2022 midterms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her bid for re-election Tuesday, amid a deluge of other safe-seat Democrats announcing their retirements.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s announcement follows months of speculation — despite her denials — that she was preparing to leave Congress.