And, they said, there is no way the country can absorb the return of 58,000 people who have protected status.
As the projected May 21, deadline expired Monday, the Trump administration offered relief to more than 50,000 Haitians who will reportedly have their Temporary Protective Status extended by six months.
Kelly said the extension "should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients".
We look at what this means for thousands of Haitians living in MA.
"If confirmed, six months with promise to review better than hard stop", tweeted immigrant rights leader Frank Sharry about the news.
"We're working with this particular organization because we think it's important", she said. "And at some point there has to be some movement on sending people back to their home countries".
Temporary protected status generally lets groups of individuals stay here and get work permits for 18 months at a time. That percentage, she said, increases to more than 50 percent when the "legacy generation"-the "first generation of folks like myself who are the bridge generation"-is included, meaning 70 percent of the city's black community "has some sort of migrant root or story".
"I was in Haiti a few months ago", the congresswoman said. "But the Black Immigration Network was able to come together and fundraise and support their work at the local level".
She'd like to tell the government, "Please, please do something for us, because I can not go back home the way I am right now". She worries about housing, economic opportunities and medical care, she said.
"Haiti is in bad shape", Larrieux says.
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In February, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, co-chairwoman of the House Carribbean Caucus, introduced legislation that would expand TPS to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States before November 4, 2016.
The department said they feel encouraged by what they say is Haiti's progress since an natural disaster that devastated the country back on January 12, 2010. Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing", simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their shanties. Those Haitians do not qualify for temporary protected status.
But South Florida lawmakers from both sides of the aisle wrote to Kelly in March, saying Hurricane Matthew, which hit in October, has slowed recovery on Haiti and urging him to grant an extension. It allowed Haitian nationals to stay in the USA because of adverse conditions in their homeland.
DHS denied that, telling VOA in an email at the time that "the secretary's decision will be based on a thorough assessment of the conditions in the country...."
One email contained instructions for department staff to research crimes committed by Haitians with temporary protected status. "It can't go on in perpetuity", an official said.
Those who pushed for an extension received Kelly's announcement with mixed emotions.
But Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., says Haiti is still struggling.
Officials said Kelly chose to extend TPS based on current conditions on the ground.
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium issued a statement calling the decision cruel and inhumane. "We're going to give you all more time to get this country back'".
Haiti's government had urged the United States to extend TPS "for at least another year", its ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor, told VOA earlier this month. Kelly will have to decide by September whether to extend temporary status for Sudanese.