The United States on Tuesday said it has temporarily suspended deportations of Haitians after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the Caribbean nation last week, killing at least a thousand people and leaving 1.4 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
“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,” U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said at an event in Mexico City.
“But after that condition has been addressed, we intend to resume the policy change,” he said, without specifying a time frame.
The policy change Johnson referred to took place last month when the United States announced that in response to a surge in Haitian immigration across the Mexican border, it would end special protections put in place after a 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti.
Thousands of Haitians are currently massed in Tijuana and other Mexican border towns, and Mexico says 300 more arrive in the country every day.
(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Lizbeth Diaz, and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)