Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was invented precisely for cases like Haiti today — when a natural disaster is so devastating that illegal immigrants from that country temporarily can't be deported. And there are already several members of Congress calling on the administration to grant TPS, and rightly so.
But the earthquake is also an argument for why we need to fix TPS — it's a necessary tool, but as currently structured it functions as a permanent amnesty for anyone "lucky" enough to come from a country that suffers a natural (or even man-made) disaster. As far as I've been able to determine, not a single person who has ever been granted this "temporary" status has later been deported.
This is why open-borders groups have been pushing for TPS for Haitians for years, long before the earthquake, simply as a means to amnesty the 30,000 Haitian illegals who already have deportation orders (not to mention the thousands of others who haven't been caught — in 2000, the INS estimated 76,000 Haitian illegals). The Obami have been resisting (just as the Bushies resisted) granting TPS because of the real possibility that it would precipitate new waves of boat people. There's little question TPS will be granted now, but there's also little chance this administration will want to phase it out eventually unless they face oversight by Congress and the public.
Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this blog, please visit our Haitian Immigration overview page.