Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

The Trump administration may be using the criminal status of Haitian immigrants as part of its decision on whether to extend a program designed to allow safe harbor for those affected by the 2010 Haitian earthquake, per internal emails obtained by the AP.

The program: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) — a branch of Homeland Security — can grant "Temporary Protected Status" to immigrants, legal or illegal, from countries affected by war or disaster, allowing them to remain in the U.S. indefinitely. There are currently 50,000 Haitian immigrants in the U.S. under the TPS designation.

Why it matters: In the past, the decision to extend a TPS designation was based solely on whether conditions in that country had improved; USCIS' acting director recommended last month that the program could expire, stating that Haiti's humanitarian crisis had ended despite its political instability. But the Trump administration's apparent willingness to consider the actions of a few wrongdoers to decide the humanitarian future of tens of thousands is a marked departure from prior U.S. policy.

We should also find any reports of criminal activity by any individual with TPS. Even though it's only a snapshot and not representative of the entire situation, we need more than 'Haiti is really poor' stories. Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, the USCIS head of policy and strategy

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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