Cuban Born US DHS Secretary Makes A Little Haiti Visit

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas leaves after meeting with Haitian community leaders at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex on May 25, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Mr. Mayorkas met with the leaders after a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status was put into place by the Biden administration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Weds. May 26, 2021: The US’ Cuban-born Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, met with Haitian community leaders at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida Tuesday, just days after the Biden administration announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status.

Secretary Mayorkas, joined by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, met with members of the Haitian community, state and local elected officials, civic leaders, and immigration organizations to discuss issues of importance to the community, including the recent TPS announcement, which came after months of lobbying from the community and following protests and criticism over the deportation of many Haitians.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to visit the Little Haiti Cultural Center to speak with leaders of the Haitian-American community about the issues facing Haitian nationals in the United States and the work the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to support them,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Haitian-Americans have made tremendous contributions to their communities and our country, and I am proud to have been able to spend time with members of the community as we celebrate Haitian Heritage Month.”

In addition to discussing the recent TPS announcement, immigrant advocates, community leaders, and local elected officials also celebrated Haitian Heritage Month and discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to rebuilding and reforming our immigration system.

On Saturday, May 22, 2021, after consultation with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas announced the designation of Haiti for TPS due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that prevent nationals from returning safely. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano initially designated Haiti for TPS in January 2010 based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within the country, specifically the effects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. In 2011, Haiti’s designation was extended, and the country was also re-designated for TPS at the same time. Haiti’s designation was subsequently extended again for 18 months in 2013 and 2015, and for an additional six months in 2017.