Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The Haitian Guantánamo Experience: The Legal Journey

Many don’t know that from 1991 to 1994, Haitian immigrants fleeing from the post-coup violence in Haiti were illegally held at Guantánamo Bay. IJDH Board Chair Ira Kurzban was one of the leading lawyers who fought to change this practice and ensure respect for the human rights of these refugees. In the video below, Ira gives a compelling account of why this was such a problem, and how persistent lawyering combined with effective political organizing became the solution. Read more about Ira and Guantanamo Bay HERE.

Time to Deal With Haiti

Time to deal with Haiti -Paul Farmer and Brian Concannon

Reprieve for a beleaguered Haiti

Boston Globe Editorial LAST MONTH, Haiti’s president, René Préval, wrote to President Bush asking for a favor: For the time being, please stop deporting Haitians who are in the United States without legal status. It’s a controversial request – one that would affect perhaps 20,000 people who entered this country illegally, are seeking asylum, or are appealing immigration decisions. The proposal is a tough sell politically, but it makes global sense. Préval wants Bush to grant Haitian immigrants “temporary protected status.” It’s a legal time-out for immigrants who come from countries facing crises such as armed conflicts and natural disasters. The status already applies to certain Nicaraguan immigrants, who are covered because of devastation caused in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch. Immigrants from El Salvador are covered because of earthquakes there in 2001. To make his own case, Préval points […]

A Prayerful Request for U.S. to Help Haiti

By JOHN CLEMENT FAVALORA Below are excerpts from a letter by The Most Reverend John Clement Favalora, Archbishop of Miami, to President Bush. I write to offer my strong, considered and prayerful support of Haitian President René Préval’s recent request for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian immigrants in the United States. As the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, plagued by political instability, violence and environmental crises, Haiti is simply unable to handle the return of its nationals at this time, making Haitian nationals currently in the United States eligible for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act. As such, granting TPS for Haitians is not only the morally right course of action, but also sanctioned by law. Tragic events Daily, in the pews of our churches, behind the desks of our schools, inside the waiting rooms of our various ministries, […]


Common Sense John Maxwell Sunday, February 03, 2008 We have some great news for dieters this week! The Haitians, with a little help from the Americans, the French and the Canadians, have produced a solution to the obesity crisis that now threatens western civilisation. Haiti’s great and good friends in Washington, Paris and Ottawa have, at last, after several years of hard, grinding effort, managed to create the condition known as ‘critical mess’ [sic] allowing the Haitians to produce a diet which – unlike any other slimming solution – is absolutely guaranteed to work. Other slimming solutions have always had one weak spot: no matter how low-calorie the diet is, dieters can always defeat the purpose by overeating. The new Haitian diet makes that impossible! No matter how much you eat you will not get fat!! This is sensational news!!! […]

Inter-American Development Bank has agreed to a massive debt relief for poor nations, Miami Herald, November 18, 2006

BY PABLO BACHELET WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank on Friday accepted a U.S.-promoted proposal to pardon between $2.1 and $3.5 billion for five poor Latin American nations including Bolivia, a nation that opposes U.S. policies. The Bush administration has been pushing for the relief since March, when it proposed the operation despite resistance from several Latin American countries because of concerns that the write-off would weaken the IDB’s ability to provide subsidized loans in the future, officials said. The Latin American nations wanted the United States and other wealthy countries to help pay for the operation, but Washington argued that the IDB was strong enough to take the hit. The delay meant that the IDB did not join the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank in announcing last year a similar debt relief operation […]

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