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#4249: Janet Reno: suspend the deports of Haitian parents of US-born kids by July 4! (fwd)



She's known about the issue since April 7, when we questioned her about it on 
Nightline (which followed up on May 25 with a full program devoted to it).  
Or since March 29, when Rick Bragg's "Haitian Immigrants Face a Wrenching 
Choice" article graced the top of the front page of the New York Times.  Or 
since last October 15, when we met for an hour on this issue in Washington 
with Deputy Associate Attorney General James Castello.  Or since July and 
August 1999, when this issue was addressed in letters from Representatives 
Meek, Diaz-Balart, and Ros-Lehtinen and Miami-Dade Mayor Penelas and in Miami 
Herald, Tampa Tribune, and Newsday editorials.  Or since January and early 
February 2000, when we sent Castello letters signed by 87 community leaders 
in three states along with a copy of the excellent December 1999 WAMI 
television segment on this issue.  But although Castello and Meissner 
accompanied Reno to Miami on Elian, neither Castello nor anyone has ever 
gotten back to us on this issue.

Are you "too busy," Janet Reno?  Or inconsistent.  We thought you cared about 

Jesse Jackson cares.  The New York Times cares.  The San Francisco Chronicle, 
Sun Sentinel, and Tampa Tribune editorial boards care.  The Columbus 
Dispatch's nationally syndicated columnist Mike Harden cares.  NBC Nightly 
News's Tom Brokaw and ABC's Ted Koppel care.  Black Entertainment 
Television's Tavis Smiley cares.  Senator Bob Graham and Representatives 
Carrie Meek, Alcee Hastings, and Sheila Jackson Lee care.

Legal scholars agree that Reno has full authority to immediately - with a 
stroke of the pen -- suspend the deportations of the Haitian refugee parents 
of a few thousand U.S.-born children - little black American boys and girls 
who don't speak Creole, have never been to Haiti, need their families, and 
are the future of their communities - but whose names are not "Elian."  But 
despite her mantra about "the best interests of the child" and "preserving 
families" and HRIFA, she hasn't.  Why not?  Is this compassionate?    

See 3/29 NYT top-of-the-front page ("Haitian Immigrants in U. S. Face a 
Wrenching Choice");  4/3 SF Chronicle lead editorial ("No room for 5,000 
Elians");  4/6 NBC News w/Brokaw segment (ending with a split screen with 
Elian's face on the right side and Rickerson's on the left);  4/7 ABC 
Nightline with Ted Koppel Miami townhall meeting (questioning Janet Reno with 
6 yr-old Rickerson);  4/10 Tampa Tribune lead editorial ("A cruel choice for 
Haitian parents");  4/12 Columbus Dispatch nationally syndicated column by 
Mike Harden ("Elian's Case Should Shed New Light on Haitians' Plight");  4/16 
Sun Sentinel story ("Haitian parents facing deportation fearful for US-born 
children");  4/24 BET Tavis Smiley show;  4/23 Rev. Jesse Jackson op-ed 
("Marked Mothers");  5/4 Miami Herald lead editorial ("Haitian Parents of U. 
S. Kids Deserve to Remain Here Together"), 5/5 Miami Herald op-ed ("Protect 
5,000 American Children, Don't Deport Parents");  5/13 Miami Herald ("Jesse 
Jackson calls for 'one set of rules'");  5/13 Miami Herald letters to the 
editor from Senator Bob Graham and Haitian Grassroots Coalition's Jean Robert 
Lafortune;  5/13 Miami Herald INS response;  5/25 ABC Nightline with Ted 
Koppel full program entitled "Equal Justice?";  and 3/25 Sun Sentinel