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#4282: Durran replies to Gill on repatriation

From: Mary Durran <durranmary@hotmail.com>

The US - and Canada - should keep a good many of the Haitian deportees they 
send back.  There are a number of moral and legal reasons as to why they 
should do so.

Firstly, many of the deportees arrive in the host country as children, go 
through school and learn crime that is a product of the host society.  
Montreal police studies have shown that the experience of being a young 
immigrant in itself renders Haitians and others more vulnerable to gang 
activity than their Canadian counterparts (the Montreal gangs are made up of 
young people who are searching for a sense of belonging to a group - young 
Haitians caught between two cultures, living in poverty, are ripe for 
exploitation by the gangs.) Many young Haitians who turn to crime in a host 
country would not have become criminals had they stayed in Haiti.

Secondly, there are a number of legal principles under international law 
which make the deportations highly questionable.  LIke it or not, 
international law generally views the family as the basic societal unit - 
(Universal Declaration of Human Rights).  Deportations shatter families - 
most often the spouse, children and sometimes parents are left to face 
agonising choices when a family member is deported to what has in most cases 
become a strange land. Deportations are a practice that ultimately break up 

Also, under international law, (again, the Universal Declaration on Human 
Rights), people have a right to be members of a community.  When someone 
commits a crime, they have a right to rehabilitation after they have served 
their sentence.  (I am not a jurist, but am sure there must be other texts 
in international law which set out the State's obligation to rehabilitate 
criminals).  Key to a person"s rehabilitation is the support of their 
family, as well as that of the community.  Most of the Haitian deportees no 
longer have a community in Haiti, their communities are in Montreal, New 
York, Boston, wherever.  It is inhumane to deport someone to a country where 
they have no support and no hope for rehabilitation.  The US and Canada have 
a duty to rehabilitate the Haitians who learned crime in those countries, 
rather than sending them back to a country ill-equipped to deal with them.

Mary Durran