Ramos Offering Free Legal Help to Haitians Seeking Temporary Protected Status

January 22, 2010

Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip), in conjunction with Haitian Americans United for Change, Inc. (HAUC), will be holding a free legal clinic this Saturday. Attorneys will be on hand to provide free legal counsel and assistance in filing out applications for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which is now available to Haitians who have been living in the United States since before the catastrophic earthquake.

Temporary Protected Status is typically given to immigrants who cannot safely return to their country for a variety of reasons including environmental catastrophe and armed conflict.

“Any Haitian who has been living here since before the devastating earthquake is eligible,” said Ramos. “It does not matter how they came here. For the next 18 months, Haitians granted this special status can not be deported and can immediately seek employment.”

When: Saturday, January 23
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Portuguese American Club
17 Third Ave, Brentwood

Ramos said that to apply for TPS you must register by filing both an Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), which costs $50, and an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), which comes with a fee of $340, if you are age 14 to 65. You do not have to pay the $340 fee, however, if you do not require employment authorization. And there is a separate $80 biometric fee for those who are aged 14 and up.

“This is a great reprieve that will help Haitian families recover from the devastation, but the application process can be confusing,” said Ramos. “We want to help these families as best we can in the wake of this terrible disaster.”

For more information, please call Assemblyman Ramos’ office at (631) 435-3214 or Haitian Americans United for Change at (888) 509-4282.