Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Lawyers ask for a halt to deportations.

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South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
January 30, 2006

ISSUE: Lawyers ask for a halt to deportations.

As a critical election looms less than two weeks away, and with pre-vote violence on the increase, it makes no sense to deport Haitians seeking temporary protective status in the United States back to their volatile, war-torn country.

Attorneys throughout the United States have filed motions asking the federal courts to halt the senseless deportations, which run counter to political reality in Haiti. U.S. immigration authorities shouldn’t wait for a ruling.

They should suspend the deportations — now. Then they should go a step further and grant Haitians temporary protective status. TPS is a program that grants work permits and temporary haven to people whose home countries are torn by civil conflict or natural disasters.

It should be pretty clear by now that Haitians living and working in America qualify for TPS.

Haiti has been consumed by civil strife for years. The ouster of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide almost two years ago has done little to usher in peace or social calm.

Kidnappings, murders and attacks continue, and Haitians are not the only targets. Earlier this month, two Jordanian peacekeepers who were part of the United Nations contingent were killed.

Yet, U.S immigration authorities insist on deporting hundreds of Haitians who have sought refuge in America, and especially in South Florida. Many have families here, and jobs as well.

Attorneys are not asking for handouts, just safe haven for the Haitians they represent. The law provides for protective status, and these Haitians certainly qualify for it.

BOTTOM LINE: Granting Haitians TPS satisfies the law’s purpose.

Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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