Some Haitians in US legally can’t work

    The legal loophole that’s ensnaring a growing number of Haitians relates to when they came into the country.

    Haitians living in the United States under Temporary Protected Status have another three months to apply for a permit to work in the country.  But many Haitians living in the Philadelphia region legally are not allowed to earn money.

    The legal loophole that’s ensnaring a growing number of Haitians relates to when they came into the country.  If immigrants entered the United States after January 12, when a catastrophic earthquake left Haiti’s capitol in ruin, they’re not eligible for Temporary Protected Status, and thus not eligible for the work permit.  Even some of those who came since January under a visitor permit cannot work here.

    Amanda Bergson-Shilcock is Director of Intake and Operations at the Pennsylvania Welcoming Center.  She says her office is seeing a growing number of such cases.

    “They’re often relying on the assistance of strangers or acquaintances to make sure that they can have temporary housing while they’re here, and so on and so forth,” says Bergson-Shilcock.

    She says among those who are eligible, about 1,000 Haitians have applied for the work permit across Pennsylvania.

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