.Hundreds of people, some with U.S. passports, lined up outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince last week.(Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the Obama administration is "looking at" the idea of allowing more legal immigration to the U.S. from Haiti.
Speaking to reporters at the State Department before departing to Montreal, Quebec, for a conference on international relief efforts for Haiti, Clinton said, "We are looking at every option that can provide a better future for the Haitian people."
Asked about the secretary's comments, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters, "There is a cap, you know, levied on the number that can travel to the United States from Haiti. And that is something that we'll be ... working with a variety of interest groups on as we go forth."
Some Haiti experts and non-governmental organizations say that allowing more legal immigration from Haiti would relieve some of the burden of providing earthquake relief efforts on the island.
The Obama administration, after the earthquake, allowed Haitians currently in the United States illegally to apply for temporary protected status for 18 months. That would allow them to work and send cash remittances back to help their families in Haiti.
Clinton, along with foreign ministers, major donors and regional and multilateral partners, was going to Montreal for a Monday's one-day Ministerial Preparatory Conference of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
Updated: 3:42 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - Five years after the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated the Indonesian region of Aceh and killed 200,000 people, reconstruction is still under way.
The destruction unleashed by the Haiti earthquake is comparable, but the challenge to rebuild the country is even greater, and the recovery process likely will take even longer.
To call Haiti a "fragile" state before this month's devastating earthquake would be generous. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world, with unemployment at more than 50 percent and more than half of the population living on a dollar a day.
Now about 400,000 people have been left homeless. And with the majority of the capital's businesses destroyed, Haitians have gone quickly from poor to destitute.
Washington (CNN) - The first couple made a big contribution to help Haiti on Wednesday, giving $15,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund set up after last week's earthquake the devastated the Caribbean nation.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama "have been inspired by the way that millions of Americans have responded with tremendous generosity to the Haiti crisis - even in these tough economic times," said Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "So, today, they sent their own check for
$15,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to support the ongoing relief efforts in that country."
Obama asked his two immediate predecessors - former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - to set up the fund to raise money for relief and recovery efforts in Haiti and ensure that contributions continue long after the news media moves on to other stories.
According to the Web site for the fund, http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org, it has received 126,000 contributions to date.
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she is "of course" not satisfied with the pace at which relief supplies and personnel are getting into Haiti, but added she is "aware of the difficulties" involved.
"There were so many challenges that had to be addressed all at once" after the earthquake that it is "really remarkable how much we've gotten done," she said as she answered reporters' questions at the State Department.
(CNN) - Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart and lung surgeon, departed for Haiti on Monday as part of a medical mission to provide relief to the battered Carribean nation.
"I left this morning out of Southern Florida, prepared for disaster conditions and with as many medical supplies as I was allowed to carry," Frist said in an e-mail to supporters Monday. He said he will be blogging and posting photos from the country throughout his trip.
Frist said he is soliciting donations and medical supplies for the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund, a group he founded to assist victims of last week's earthquake. Frist is traveling to Port-au-Prince with Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization.
Chris Walker, a spokesman for the former Tennessee senator, said in an e-mail that Frist will be in Haiti for "as long as needed."
Frist has also undertaken several medical missions to Darfur, the war-torn region of western Sudan.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton will travel to Haiti on Monday to meet with officials and deliver aid supplies to the quake-ravaged country, his foundation announced Sunday.
Clinton, the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, will meet with Haitian President Rene Preval and other members of the local government as well as aid workers, to discuss how to proceed with recovery operations.
The visit comes two days after President Barack Obama announced the formation of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, a major fundraising effort for victims of Tuesday's earthquake led by Clinton and former President George W. Bush.
In a pre-recorded interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Bush and Clinton said the new fund created by President Barack Obama also seeks to ensure that money keeps coming in after the news media moves on from last week's devastating earthquake.
"For me, success is helping save lives in the short term, and then we can worry about the long-term after the situation has been stabilized," Bush said.
Clinton, who also is the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, defined success as "setting up a network quickly to get the food, water, medicine, security and information people need."
The overall goal is to help Haiti resume "as quickly as possible" its efforts to build a "strong, modern society" after decades of political and social instability that made it the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere before the earthquake, Clinton said.
Washington (CNN) – The public can rest assured that donations made to a new bipartisan fundraising effort for Haiti will be accounted for and properly spent, former President George W. Bush said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Bush joined his predecessor, former President Clinton, at the White House Saturday as President Obama announced that his two forerunners have agreed to join forces to lead what is hoped to be a massive private fundraising effort in support of quake-stricken Haiti.
“Here at home, Presidents Bush and Clinton will help the American people to do their part,” Obama said Saturday.
In a sit-down interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King taped soon after the White House announcement, Bush said the public needn’t worry about any money donated to the new Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
“One of the thing I am concerned about is that on these – during these crises, all kinds of fake charities spring up,” Bush told King, “that, you know, take advantage of people’s goodwill, and we’re a safe haven. We will make sure the money is accounted for and there’s transparency, and properly spent.”
The joint effort between Bush and Clinton is reminiscent of a similar effort by Clinton and 41st president George H.W. Bush to raise private funds and awareness after the massive Indian Ocean tsunami in 2005.
Lt. Gen. P.K. Keen and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said Sunday that the United States is committed to helping Haiti after a massive earthquake. (Photo Credit: CNN)
(CNN) – The United States intends to help Haiti as long as the impoverished Caribbean nation needs assistance in the wake of last week’s earthquake, the top U.S. military and civilian officials overseeing the relief effort said Sunday
“We’re going to be here as long as we are needed,” Army Lt. Gen. P. K. Keen said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union when asked how long U.S. military assets would be in Haiti.
Related video: Keen and Shah explain U.S. relief efforts in Haiti
Keen told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that there are already roughly 1,000 American military personnel on the ground Haiti with another approximately 3,600 providing support from a U.S. aircraft carrier and other naval vessels offshore. In the coming days, Keen is expecting more American service members to join the relief effort, including U.S. Marines who will be tasked with clearing roads.
“We’re building up capacity every day and getting what we need to accomplish the mission,” Keen also told King.
Keen said Sunday that the military is also focused on providing security in the quake-ravaged country whose own government and security forces were severely impaired by the 7.0 magnitude quake.