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.