Dayana receives her Temporary Protected Status and work permit after months of waiting. (Ashley Miznazi/ The Haitian Times)

A short film about a Haitian woman obtaining her Temporary Protected Status (TPS) status.

MIAMI – Dayana once dreamt of becoming a lawyer in Haiti. But in the summer of 2021, after Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his bedroom and a law mentor of hers was shot dead in his car, Dayana knew she needed to safeguard her future, her life. Shortly after graduating from law school, Dayana took a flight to Florida on a tourist visa, with no plan to return to Haiti.

Once she landed in Miami, Dayana had to navigate the challenges of finding work without legal authorization, learning to speak English and constant worry about relatives still in Port-au-Prince. 

In December 2022, the Biden Administration expanded Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 100,000 Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. by Nov. 6, 2022. Dayana applied.

Even before receiving an answer, the possibility of receiving the legal status lifted a weight off Dayana.

“I feel like I’m free,” she said. “Free.”

Watch her story here.

Ashley Miznazi is a Report for America corps member covering the Haitian community in the South Florida/Miami area for The Haitian Times. Her work will heavily feature photography, video and other multimedia storytelling. Previously, Ashley was a multimedia fellow at The Texas Tribune, where she reported on DACA, Afghan resettlement and the foster care system.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey it’s a great story, inspiring.
    I wonder if you guys have legal team consultants before posting this article.
    That woman gonna be in a lot of legal battle if USCIS read this article.
    1) you can’t come in the US with a visitor visa and with the intent of not going back to your country.

    2) you can’t work on a tourist visa, but the story confirms she did.

    That’s the tip of the iceberg.
    Let’s hope no one sees the same stuff that I did.
    Let’s hope she’s not leaving in Florida.

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