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Legal status sought for Haitians in U.S.

This gallery collects all of our photos of the crisis in Haiti, starting with the most recent images and going back to the first photos that emerged after an earthquake hit the impoverished nation Jan. 12.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Legal status sought for Haitians in U.S.

Dozens of immigrant advocacy groups and several members of Congress are renewing a long-standing call for the Obama administration to grant temporary legal status and work permits to as many as 125,000 Haitians living in the United States illegally.

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By law, the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state, can offer "temporary protected status," or TPS, to illegal immigrants of a particular nationality if calamities make it too burdensome for their home countries to receive them.

Immigrants must pay a fee to apply for TPS and are eligible only if they were already in the United States at the time the benefit was offered and if they do not have criminal records. The status is usually granted for up to 18 months, but the government can, and often does, renew it repeatedly as conditions warrant.

-- N.C. Aizenman

VOA Creole Service expands for emergency

The Voice of America's Creole Service says it will increase the strength and frequency of emergency broadcasts to Haiti. The VOA says it will use shortwave, AM and satellite broadcasts to provide information.

"We're doing everything we possibly can to reach people in Haiti who have a desperate need for information," Alberto Mascaro, chief of VOA's Latin America Division, said in a statement.

Creole Service programming has expanded from 1 1/2 hours daily to five hours. VOA also has set up a special call-in number -- 202-205-9942, mailbox 42 -- for people to leave messages that will be broadcast to Haiti.

-- Monica Norton


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