From the Village Voice:
It took an earthquake, but the U.S. government is finally stopping its regular deportation of Haitians back to their homeland.
But it's only for now. Offers to Haitians of the coveted Temporary Protected Status — "given to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot safely return to their countries because of armed conflicts, natural disasters or other emergencies," as the Miami Herald notes — are not in the cards. Haitian activists have continually pressed for such status — way before the devilish earthquake — because theirs is such a dangerous country.
In her letter to Obama, Gillibrand said temporary protected status is "needed because there is no way to safely return Haitian citizens to their country" and continued by outlining precedent for such action. "The United States granted TPS to Honduras and Nicaragua in 1999, following Hurricane Mitch, and to El Salvador in 2001, following several earthquakes.
"Haiti clearly meets the criteria for TPS designation, and extending it would be one way to help address this catastrophe, as well as alleviate additional burdens on American assistance workers," the letter concluded.