Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and the U.S. government have placed a temporary hold on the deportation of illegal Haitians after their home country was devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The storm killed hundreds of Haitians and put thousands more at risk of starvation and homelessness.
“We will have to deal with that situation, address it, be sympathetic to the plight of the people of Haiti as a result of the hurricane,” Johnson said Tuesday in Mexico City. He and Obama administration officials held a conference on border, migration and security issues. “After that situation, after that condition has been addressed, we intend to resume the policy change that I brought about several weeks ago,” Johnson reaffirmed.
The policy Johnson is referring to is a directive issued and designed to put an end to temporary provisions granting Haitians entry to the U.S. without a visa. This came about after the extraordinary spike of immigration from the island nation following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Around 5,000 Haitians were intercepted at the border within the last year alone, mostly near southern California.
Video footage below shows Johnson making the announcement, as well as the devastating aftermath in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew:
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.