Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Legal campaign seeks to curb U.S. deportations to Haiti ... 658483.htm

    Posted on Thu, Jan. 19, 2006

    Legal campaign seeks to curb U.S. deportations to Haiti
    Frustrated by Homeland Security's inaction, immigration attorneys will seek a temporary halt to deportations of Haitians to their Caribbean country.


    As an increasingly violent Haiti staggers toward long postponed elections, lawyers representing Haitian migrants will ask immigration judges in the coming weeks to halt all deportations to Haiti temporarily.

    The coordinated effort on behalf of Haitians facing deportation comes after unsuccessful attempts by immigration advocates -- and Haiti's own interim prime minister -- to get the Bush administration to grant temporary protected status, known as TPS, to thousands of undocumented Haitians living in the United States.

    By filing individual motions on behalf of their Haitian clients, lawyers would be leaving it up to immigration judges and not the federal government to decide whether to grant a temporary stay until conditions in Haiti improve.

    Although it isn't unusual for attorneys to ask a judge to issue a continuance or administratively close a case, Miami immigration attorney Ira Kurzban said the current effort is ''extraordinarily unusual,'' because it's happening as part of a concerted effort by immigration lawyers nationwide.

    It is unclear how many lawyers will file the request on behalf of an estimated 20,000 undocumented Haitian migrants living in the United States or whether immigration judges will adhere to the motions by attorneys.

    Still, the coordinated effort, which is officially being launched in key U.S. cities today, including Miami, may be the best hope for undocumented Haitians at a time when anti-immigration sentiments are sweeping Washington and when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is considering ending temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans and Hondurans.

    ''This is a very small Band-Aid, but a giant recognition there is a problem in Haiti,'' said Thomas Griffin, a Philadelphia immigration attorney, who spent hours drafting the motion and has traveled to Haiti extensively since 2000.

    The motion, which Griffin said has already been requested by about 200 lawyers across the country, states that ``despite the ongoing chaos that continues in Haiti, including brutal civil strife, documented bloody political conflict, indisputable countrywide insecurity and the proven inability of the Haitian state to protect its own people, the United States continues to refuse refuge to fleeing Haitians.''

    In addition to Miami, the effort is being launched today with scheduled press conferences in key cities with growing Haitian populations, such as Philadelphia, Boston, Washington and New York. It comes a little less than three weeks before Haiti's Feb. 7 presidential election, which has been postponed repeatedly.

    Fifteen months ago, interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue formally asked the homeland agency to grant temporary protected status for Haitians, but to no avail. The privilege, which would allow Haitians temporarily to live and work in the United States legally, has not been granted.

    ''The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State continue to closely monitor the situation there,'' said State Department spokesman Peter Eisenhauer.

    Miami attorney Ariol Eugene, who is spearheading the campaign on behalf of the Haitian Lawyers Association, said he plans to file the motion on behalf of 10 of his Haitian clients.

    ''It is very clear the conditions in Haiti are horrendous,'' Eugene said. ``The government right now cannot protect its own people. It is in the best interest of the U.S. government and Florida to have stability in Haiti. When there is no stability in Haiti, there is a mass exodus.''
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    TimBinh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Deport them to France, after all Haiti is a former French colony.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    January 20, 2006
    Lawyers Protest Deportation of Illegal Immigrants to Haiti
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 - Dozens of lawyers around the country joined forces on Thursday to protest the Department of Homeland Security's decision to continue deporting illegal immigrants to Haiti, an island nation plagued by political instability, violence and human rights violations.

    The lawyers filed motions in dozens of cases, asking immigration judges to stop the deportations because their clients' lives may be threatened. The State Department has warned Americans against traveling to Haiti, citing the lack of an effective police force and the presence of armed gangs engaged in kidnappings and violent crime.

    The lawyers, who held news conferences in Miami, New York, Boston and Philadelphia, said they were acting because homeland security officials had not given Haitians temporary protected status, which temporarily prevents the deportation of immigrants who cannot return to their native countries because of armed conflict, natural disasters or other extraordinary conditions.

    Immigrants from Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan have temporary protected status. The immigration lawyers involved in Thursday's protest said the situation in Haiti had been far worse than in those three Central American countries since a violent uprising and intense pressure by the United States forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power in 2004.

    The United Nations says it has documented widespread cases of unlawful arrests and has received credible reports of police involvement in executions and banditry. The State Department says more than 25 Americans were kidnapped in Haiti last year, and local authorities say that over Christmas, kidnappings peaked to as many as 12 a day. Travel is so hazardous in Port-au-Prince, the capital, that American Embassy personnel have been barred from leaving their homes at night. More than 10 United Nations soldiers have been killed, officials say.

    The lawyers want immigration judges to close the deportation cases until the situation in Haiti improves. Several lawyers said the legal strategy might not succeed on a broad scale because judges typically require assent from the government's lawyers before closing a case. But advocates for Haitian immigrants said they were trying to send the Bush administration a message and hoped that some judges would take action, even if it meant simply delaying decisions in deportation cases until Haiti stabilizes.

    "I don't think it makes sense for the United States to send people back to a country where such devastating human rights violations are occurring," said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project in Boston. "Those Haitian deportees face grave risk to their lives, and that's not acceptable."

    Candace Jean, a Miami immigration lawyer, said her clients were terrified of what they would experience when they returned to Haiti.

    "They're horrified," Ms. Jean said. "Many are going into hiding."

    Bill Strassberger, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the decision to grant temporary protected status was made in consultation with the State Department. Mr. Strassberger noted that many Haitian-Americans felt safe enough to travel to Haiti and that conditions in the country varied from place to place.

    The State Department, which ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of embassy officials in Haiti last May, lifted the order several months later. But embassy officials have been told that dependents under 21 are still not permitted to travel to or remain in Haiti, the department said.

    "It's a tough decision," Mr. Strassberger said. "The country itself is in a desperate situation. But at this point the United States government feels that the situation can be corrected by providing more aid as opposed to providing temporary protected status."

    Karline St. Louis of Miami is hoping that officials will change their minds. Her husband, Kevin, who is being represented by Ms. Jean, expects to be deported any day.

    "I'm praying that something will change," said Ms. St. Louis, 27, who has a 4-year-old son. "There's a lot of kidnapping in Haiti, a lot of killings going on. It is very scary."

    Maggy Duteau, an immigration lawyer in New York, said she could not understand why Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans would be granted temporary protected status while Haitians would not.

    "How bad does it have to get before something is done?" Ms. Duteau asked.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts