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Haiti Blocks US Deportations

Haiti is blocking the deportation of Haitians from the United States.

U.S. immigration authorities have ordered 30,000 Haitians to leave the country, but Haitian officials are refusing to issue the travel documents needed for the deportations.

They say the Caribbean nation needs time to recover from last year's devastating hurricanes and cannot handle the return of its citizens.

The action has been clogging U.S. immigration detention centers. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says about 600 Haitian deportees are in detention centers and another 240 are under house arrest.

The U.S. government halted deportations to Haiti for three months last year, starting in September, after back-to-back storms killed nearly 500 people and left tens of thousands homeless.

Soon after resuming flights in December, the administration of then President George W. Bush denied Haiti's request for temporary protected status.

The designation would have allowed Haitians living in the United States illegally to stay and work temporarily.