U.S. Relaxes Immigration Policies For Victims Of Haiti Earthquake
January 22, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
On Jan. 19, a group of the youngest victims of the Haiti earthquake arrived in the United States for adoption, just a week after the government announced it would halt deportations of illegal immigrants to their devastated homeland.
According to media reports, approximately 50 orphans who survived last week’s quake arrived in Pennsylvania aboard a military transport plane, while other evacuees, also including orphans, have been arriving in Florida since Saturday.
Moreover, in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude tremor that all but destroyed the island nation’s capital Port-au-Prince, the U.S. government granted "temporary protected status" to tens of thousands of Haitians who are in this country illegally and slated for deportation to their homeland.
This means those immigrants can now remain in the U.S. and hold a work permit for the next 18 months.
However, the move has prompted complaints from some critics who said the temporary provision will become permanent.
"According to past history, they will never be deported," argued William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, quoted by Fox News.
He suggested the government should have delayed deportations for at most two months while the intensive recovery efforts continue, or sent illegal immigrants to a part of Haiti that was not affected by the earthquake.