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Haiti Disease and Devastion Prompts Haitians To Apply To Stay

  • A woman suffering cholera symptoms waits for treatment at a cholera treatment center at a camp for people displaced by the Jan. earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Dec. 16, 2010. The cholera outbreak has killed at least 2,400 people in Haiti.  (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

    A woman suffering cholera symptoms waits for treatment at a cholera treatment center at a camp for people displaced by the Jan. earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Dec. 16, 2010. The cholera outbreak has killed at least 2,400 people in Haiti. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

  • A woman suffering cholera symptoms waits for treatment at a cholera treatment center at a camp for people displaced by the Jan. earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Dec. 16, 2010. The cholera outbreak has killed at least 2,400 people in Haiti.  (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

    A woman suffering cholera symptoms waits for treatment at a cholera treatment center at a camp for people displaced by the Jan. earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Dec. 16, 2010. The cholera outbreak has killed at least 2,400 people in Haiti. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

An earthquake, a cholera outbreak and political unrest: For these reasons more than 60,000 Haitians have applied for permission to temporarily stay and work in the U.S. while their Caribbean homeland recovers.

The deadline for Haitians to apply for temporary protected status is Jan. 18. 

Only those who were already living in the U.S. illegally when the earthquake struck 11 months ago are eligible.

Temporary protected status allows immigrants from countries experiencing armed conflict or environmental disasters to stay and work in the U.S. for 18 months.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says 60,158 applications have been processed. Officials have said they expected 70,000 to 100,000 Haitians total to apply before the deadline.

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Recently, the Dominican Republic has taken drastic steps to deal with its own cholera issues, hoping that it doesn't hurt their tourism business and worrying about the possibility that street vendors could spread cholera as well.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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