- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Homeland Security said Thursday it will begin deporting illegal immigrants back to Haiti, six years after the process was severely curtailed in the wake of a devastating earthquake there.

The details of the policy, though, make it unlikely that many will actually be kicked out.

The January 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti’s government and infrastructure, and U.S. authorities deemed it inhumane to deport most illegal immigrants back to those conditions. But Secretary Jeh Johnson now says things have gotten better.

“The situation in Haiti has improved sufficiently to permit the U.S. government to remove Haitian nationals on a more regular basis, consistent with the practice for nationals from other nations,” he said in a statement announcing the new policy.

Excluded from deportation are Haitians who have actually earned Temporary Protected Status — a sort of mini-amnesty that was granted to any of them in the U.S. as of January 2011. And Mr. Johnson said his regular deportation rules apply, meaning that rank-and-file illegal immigrants who got to the U.S. before 2014, and who have escaped serious criminal convictions, are also free from danger of deportation.

Mr. Johnson also said Haitians who arrive in the U.S. and claim asylum will be processed in the usual manner, which means they, too, are likely free from deportation for at least a few years.

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