U.S. Grants Haitians Protected Status

Haitians currently living in the United States without legal status will be granted temporary protected status, allowing them to remain in the country and legally hold jobs, announced Janet Napolitano, the U.S. homeland security secretary, on Jan. 15. Napolitano said temporary protected status will be extended to Haitians who were in the United States as of Jan. 12, the day a magnitude-7 earthquake flattened much of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. The designation will continue for the next 18 months, and people may apply immediately. She said Haitians who are not currently in the United States should not attempt to travel there to qualify for the status. She said she understands that the dire conditions in Haiti make it “tempting to seek refuge elsewhere,” but encouraged people to remain in their country to help in rebuilding.

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