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TPS: Haiti's illegal immigrants given temporary protection in US

The Department of Homeland Security said it would offer Haitians who were here illegally before Tuesday's earthquake temporary protected status (TPS). Haiti has 100,000 people living in the US illegally.

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In a move supported by both Democrats and Republicans, the Obama administration Friday extended special protection to some 100,000 Haitians living illegally in the United States that keeps them from being deported.

The Department of Homeland Security said it would offer Haitian nationals, who were already here when Tuesday’s earthquake struck, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. That status, which would allow them to legally work, will not cover Haitians who flee their country following the devastating 7.0 quake that resulted in as many as 50,000 deaths and left its capital, Port-au-Prince, in ruins.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said it’s “tempting for people suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake to seek refuge elsewhere” but that “attempting to leave Haiti now will only bring more hardship to the Haitian people and nation.”

She also said returning illegal immigrants from Haiti would put their “personal safety" at risk.

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