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Secretary Kelly Emphasizes The 'Temporary' In TPS After A Visit To Haiti

Holly Pretsky
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly appeared at a joint press conference with Governor Rick Scott about hurricane season following his visit to Haiti.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly visited Port-au-Prince Wednesday to meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moise. The visit came after Kelly recommended a 6-month extension for Haitian Temporary Protected Status in May. Haitian activists and advocates had been pushing for at least an 18-month extension to the policy that protects them from deportation. 

At a National Hurricane Center press conference in Miami after the visit, Kelly said he encourages Haitians to remember it was never meant to be a permanent solution.

"The message is: by definition, TPS is temporary," he said. "They should start thinking now about what will happen in the not-too-distant future, but I don’t want to get into whether it’s going to be extended or not at this point."

Haitians were originally granted TPS following a devastating earthquake in that county in 2010. Kelly hasn't said whether he plans to recommend another extension, but he said a longer-term solution is up to Congress to address.

"I would hope that the Congress would come up with some solutions because it affects a lot of people," he said.

More than 50,000 Haitians are protected under TPS.