Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

ACLU and Congresswoman-Elect Frederica Wilson Call on Obama Administration to Avert “Human Rights Disaster,” Halt Deportation of Haitian Nationals (ACLU)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 29, 2010

CONTACT:
Brandon Hensler, Director of Communications, (786) 363-2737 or media@aclufl.org

MIAMI – The ACLU today was joined by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose district includes Miami’s Little Haiti, in calling on President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to refrain from deporting Haitian nationals with criminal records who have completed their sentences.

In the letter sent today by the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Director Laura Murphy and ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, and co-signed by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, the ACLU implored restraint on the part of the Administration in light of pressing human rights and humanitarian concerns and the raging cholera epidemic that has taken hold in Haiti.

“We ask President Obama to hold off on removing Haitian nationals from this country in light of the horrific conditions now facing our neighboring nation,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director. “It is within his power to show leadership and prevent a civil liberties and human rights disaster.”

Current conditions in Haiti are simply too dangerous to allow for the safe return of Haitian nationals with final removal orders,” added ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office Director Laura Murphy. “If this administration resumes deportations to Haiti in mid-January, this administration will not only jeopardize the lives and safety of Haitian deportees, but will also violate international human rights and refugee laws.”

Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson noted: “I am keenly aware of the devastation and the impact the present situation has on the constituents in my district and on their families in Haiti. The trauma and heartbreak is tremendously catastrophic,” said Representative-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose Congressional District (FL-17) includes Miami’s Little Haiti. “My Congressional District includes the largest Haitian population in America, so I am faced with the misery and the suffering on a daily basis.”

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