Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Nationwide Legal Actions to Stop Deportations to Haiti

JANUARY 17, 2006
1:47 PM
CONTACT: National Immigration Project, National Lawyers Guild
Thomas M. Griffin, Esq., (215) 925-4435 ext. 108,
Ira Kurzban, Esq., (305) 444-0060,
Nationwide Legal Actions to Stop Deportations to Haiti
Lawyers file simultaneous motions across the country to save Haitian lives
Immigration attorneys and rights organizations cite catastrophic human rights conditions
WASHINGTON – January 17 –

  • Hundreds of national and local organizations* endorse action
  • Filings and press conferences to be held in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia

On January 19, 2006, immigration attorneys and advocates on behalf of Haitians facing deportation in removal proceedings in key cities throughout the United States will simultaneously submit motions. The Motion to Stop Deportations to Haiti asks Immigration judges in each particular case to administratively close the case due to catastrophic and ever-deteriorating human rights conditions there. The Motion asserts that an immediate;p decision ?protecting Haitians from forced return is imperative.? In addition, local press conferences will be held in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia to discuss the filings of these motions.

The Motion states, ?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.?

The Motion is a necessary response to the Department of Homeland Security?s (DHS) failure to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians facing removal from the United States. TPS temporarily suspends the forced repatriation of nationals to countries whose governments cannot protect them from immediate threats to their lives, freedom, and welfare based on a broad variety of conditions.

Former American Immigration Lawyers Association President Ira J. Kurzban, who has led legal efforts to protect Haitian refugees since 1977 said, ?Conditions in Haiti are catastrophic ? uncontrolled violence, political paralysis, economic meltdown, and natural disaster. It?s immoral to deport anyone given such horrendous conditions, and it?s getting worse, not better. The Bush Administration is in large measure responsible for the current situation in Haiti and should recognize its responsibility by granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitians in the United States.?

DHS can designate a country for TPS based on internal armed conflict, overwhelming natural disaster, or extraordinary temporary conditions preventing safe return of its nationals. In addition to the above catastrophic conditions, Haiti continues to suffer the repercussions of recent hurricanes, devastating floods, and landslides in which more than 10,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were made homeless. There is no doubt that conditions for TPS eligibility have been met. In light of the overwhelming need for it to be granted to all Haitian nationals, the U.S. government must stop deportations to Haiti.

*National organizations, and personalities endorsing this action include: World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, Dr. Paul Farmer, TransAfrica Forum, Ira Kurzban, Esq., American Immigration Lawyers Association, Church World Relief, National Council of Churches of Christ USA, Mark Dow, Jonathan Avirom, Esq., Haitian Lawyers Association, Episcopal Migration Ministries, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Justice and Accountability, and the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Contact Information for Local City Press Conferences:

Washington, D.C.: Joia Jefferson Nuri, (202) 223-1960,

New York: Michelle Karshan, (786) 897-6572,

Boston: Paromita Shah, (617)227-9727 x 1,

Miami: Steven David Forester, Esq., 786 877-6999,

Philadelphia: Thomas M. Griffin, Esq., (215) 925-4435 ext. 108,

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
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