Napolitano Orders Stop of Haitian Deportations Due To Earthquake

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The Department of Homeland Security announced this afternoon that deportations of people from Haiti are being halted due to the destruction from a 7.0 earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday. The damage hasn’t been assessed but reports that the infrastructure of the country has been devastated make it clear that Haiti is no place to visit at this time.

DHS statement:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Secretary John Morton today halted all removals to Haiti for the time being in response to the devastation caused by yesterday’s earthquake. ICE continues to closely monitor the situation.

There are more than half a million Haitians living in New York City alone, it’s unknown how many of them are living in the country illegally and how many DHS has detained for deportation.

Speaking to NPR’s Larry Mantle from the program “Air Talk,” the editor of the Haitian Times in New York City said that the majority of people in Haiti depend on family members abroad, particularly from the US, “to survive.”

For more on the earthquake in Haiti, click here.

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