Following up on Mark Chubb’s posting earlier today, it is worth noting the Department of Homeland Security’s resources and assets that are being used to aid in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The Coast Guard has sent four cutters to Haiti, in addition to its existing capabilities in the region. Spenser Hsu of the Washington Post wrote a detailed piece this morning on what the agency is doing.
FEMA is coordinating (through an interagency process) the deployment of state and local Urban Search & Rescue teams from the United States. According the United Nations, there are 17 teams from around the globe who are in Haiti, with 10 more along the way. The arrival of additional teams has been slowed by the lack of capacity and resulting chaos at the Port-au-Prince Airport.
Customs and Border Protection has provided support aircraft to relief efforts.
Also noteworthy is that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has halted all deportations of illegal immigrants from Haiti indefinitely. The agency, however, has not granted protective status to those immigrants or yet revealed a long-term course on what status to grant (or not grant) the immigrants. UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, The Department of Homeland Security granted “protected status” to Haitian nationals in the U.S. as of January 12, 2010. Here is the Statement from Janet Napolitano released a few minutes ago:
As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to assist Haiti following the devastating earthquake, the Secretary announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. This designation will allow eligible Haitian nationals in the United States to continue living and working in our country for the next 18 months. Providing a temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who are currently in the United States and whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this Administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.
DHS has also, through a press release and on its website, promoted efforts by the Obama Administration to facilitate civilian relief to Haiti. Those wishing to donate (or seeking information on friends and family) are being directed to the White House’s website.