Haitians denied temporary immigration protection

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.

MIAMI (AP) The Bush administration won't grant temporary protected status to Haitians living in the U.S. illegally while their Caribbean homeland struggles to recover from four deadly tropical storms.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff denied the status in a Dec. 19 letter to Haitian President Rene Preval. Chertoff said his department tried to help Haiti by directing the Coast Guard to provide humanitarian relief and delaying deportations until last month.

Preval wrote Bush twice last year asking for the status that allows immigrants from countries experiencing armed conflict or environmental disasters to stay and work in the U.S. for a limited time.

The summer storms killed hundreds, displaced thousands and severely crippled Haiti's infrastructure and agriculture.

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