BROOKLYN - Brooklyn Haitians are celebrating tonight after the Homeland Security secretary announced the extension of their temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States.

The extension allows the 48,000 Haitian nationals who already have protected status to legally remain in the country for another 18 months

Last week, dozens had rallied in Flatbush for the extension, which was set to expire in July. They argued that it's not yet safe to return to Haiti following last year's devastating earthquake.

Those who moved to the U.S. within one year of the disaster can also now apply for TPS. The new expiration date is Jan. 22, 2013. .

Petition calls for protective-status extension for HaitiansBK Haitians worried about being ousted from U.S.