The decision is a mixed result for activists, who had pushed for an 18-month renewal, as has been granted in the past.
Wilson urged Homeland Security officials to join her and other congressional leaders in the next six months in a "fact-finding mission" to personally assess conditions on the island before lifting the temporary status protections.
"Secretary Kelly is taking a look at the TPS program with a fresh set of eyes, and really wants to ensure that all of our immigration programs are administered in a way that benefits that national interest", a senior administration official said.
The Haitians were facing orders to return home from July 23 if the Department of Homeland Security did not renew their temporary protected status, granted after a magnitude 7 quake destroyed much of the capital Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. The 18-month program had been redesignated three times before Monday's six month extension.
In a press statement, Kelly added that the US government officials plans to "work closely with the Haitian government" to help Haitians obtain the travel documents they need to move back.
The Haitians have been protected from deportation since an natural disaster devastated the already-impoverished and unstable island nation in 2010.
"This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients", Kelly said. "TPS, as enacted in law, is inherently temporary in nature, and beneficiaries should plan accordingly that this status may finally end after the extension announced today". "Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed", he said.
Ninaj Raoul, executive director of New York-based Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, noted that last October's hurricane "wiped out" crops in southwestern Haiti, "where a lot of the food for the entire country comes from".
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Last September, former Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson is extending TPS benefits for the last time to beneficiaries under the designations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone for 6 months for the goal of orderly transition before the designations terminate, effective May 21, 2017.
Haiti's TPS designation expires in July of this year, which means that Haitians with this status may be deported from the U.S. For months now, various stakeholders have been pressing DHS to renew the designation, citing disruptions in the lives of Haitians who are settled in the United States, and unsafe conditions in Haiti exacerbated by a 2016 hurricane and a cholera epidemic started by United Nations peacekeepers in 2010.
DHS officials said there are around 58,700 Haitians living in the United States under temporary protected status.
There are almost 59,000 recipients of TPS from Haiti living in the USA, the officials said. I used to say that no one was ever deported because his "temporary" status lapsed - because it never did.
Haitians for Trump were among many urging Trump to deliver on his campaign promise last September as he courted Haitian immigrant voters at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami. "And I will be your champion, whether you vote for me or not".
Local minister and Haitian immigrant Jean Elise Durandisse was disappointed with the shorter extension.
In a letter to DHS Secretary John Kelly, Haiti's ambassador Paul Altidor wrote that "allowing TPS to expire before Haiti can absorb and support their return will cause an immediate increase in poverty in Haiti, as thousands of households will no longer have an economic lifeline".