The Obama administration announced it was granting temporary protected status to Haitians living illegally in the U.S., just as we've done for Central American countries at various times. I hope, probably in vain, that this situation would prompt more discussion of how to reform our immigration policy in general. We allow Cubans who reach the U.S. to stay, but deport Haitians. Further, we deport people to countries unable to deal with them, which only exacerbates political and social conflict, which in turn leads to more emigration. And on a practical level, TPS keeps getting extended because the conditions in the home country don't change quickly.
Janet Napolitano also offers up this comment:
"At this moment of tragedy in Haiti, it is tempting for people suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake to seek refuge elsewhere, but attempting to leave Haiti now will only bring more hardship to the Haitian people and nation," Napolitano said.
It is hard to see how leaving a devastated country makes that country worse off, particular when there are currently too few resources to go around. But the message is clear--don't come to the U.S. We will help address the current crisis, then we'll ignore you until the next one.