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#4851: August replies to Albert
Title: TO CLEAR A PROPAGANDA. TOTO CONSTANT, USA, HAITI. REMOVAL.
Key words: convicted, criminals, deportees, convicted aliens, INS, 1996 INA,
removal proceedings, convictions, deportation, Toto Constant, investigations.
Dear Sabine Albert:
You are my kind of people. Generous to a fault. You have endowed me with
wisdom in an infinite amount. I am grateful for that.
I have read the post from Roody Barthelemy with great delight and was
enriched by it.
When I added to its theme (criminals being deported from the US while Toto
Constant is not) it was with the intention of making clear that
Haitian-Americans convicted in US courts as well as Haitian-Americans accused
of having committed crimes in the US (defendants) are immune from removal
from the US pursuant to the Immigration and Naturalization Law as amended in
Mr. Barthelemy had (intentionally or inadvertently) lumped the
Haitian-Americans together with aliens being deported from the US for crimes
and criminal conduct pursuant to the heretofore mentioned law. I simply
pointed out that this lumping is incorrect, misleading and erroneous pursuant
not to my opinion but to current law. Please see the Immigration and
Nationality Act and its 1996 amendments by the Antiterrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996.
You will find the appropriate law and sections in Title 8, U.S. Code. It will
outline (1) the three-step inquiry of immigration removal proceedings
(formerly called "deportation" proceedings), (2) offenses which are grounds
for removal of an alien from the U.S., and (3) discretionary relief from
Nowhere in there will you find that American citizens, by birth or otherwise
are targeted by this law. And so when Mr. Barthelemy writes "....U.S.
Department of Justice has arbitrarily deported to Haiti around 500 Haitians
or Haitrian-American criminals without providing....." "If Haitians or/and
Haitian-American criminals have to be deported just because of their national
or ethnic descent...." his lumping of the removed criminal aliens with
Haitian-Americans is not supported by existing law.
The cited law targets aliens who have committed crimes while being in the U.S.
Another point: the crimes for which one can be removed must have been
committed in the US. Officially Toto Constant committed no crime in the US.
Here I basically reiterated the same thing I already posted. I never said
then nor am I saying now "that there is no legal ground for deporting
Constant to Haiti or that he can't be deported".
Deport Toto Constant wherever you wish but you simply can't do it under the
same laws that allow removal of criminal aliens who have committed crimes
while in the US. In other words, try to deport Constant, do it right away but
under the appropriate laws, whatever they may be. It shouldn't and can't be
done a la "vite vite," "koul cho li bon," "tout voum se do" as things are too
often done in my country of birth: Haiti.
While we are on this phase of discourse let me give you my opinion regarding
the deportation of Constant to Haiti. For the sake of Haiti I am, as of now, a
t this point in time, against it, and based upon its own actions and for its
own reasons, I dare say so is the present Haitian government.
Consider that it has been widely reported that a redacted set of the seized
FRAPH documents are available immediately to the Haitian government. Why has
it not accepted that for now and flush out whatever evidence it can obtain
from the redacted files to further support its demand and legal maneuverings
that Constant be returned to Haiti for judgment? Oh! I know the answer:
Independent Haiti; the nation's honor is at stake; Affaires nationales; blue
and red; Haiti's property; les dossiers complets; 1804; and more statements
along that line. Yeah, right!
It is all for "la gallerie" my dear, for show to appease the exalted
tire-equipped lavalas crowd. Besides there is enough tires to go around and
when the crowd start doing its thing, where it stops no one knows.
And what if Constant is returned to Haiti, who is going to give him a fair
and impartial trial? the present corrupt and inept Haitian Justice System?
Remember that the whole world would be watching that trial and Lord knows
Haitian political and social leaders have done enough on the international
scene to make that nation's population look like educated fools if not
downright jerks. The Haitian people have suffered enough and cannot afford to
be ridiculed anymore. It will be a great monkey and donkey show in between
the two lions (art, statues) posted in front of the Palais de Justice. A
Constant trial will involve locating secret burial plots, exhumation and
examination of cadavers, crime scene analysis; a forensic nightmare for a
country like Haiti who does not have any forensic expert. Name me one Juge de
Paix or Juge D'Instruction (they conduct criminal investigations, detective
work) in Haiti who is also a forensic expert in any forensic discipline, name
me just one, please. It would be a great "bouilli vide" like the 1995 trial
of the accused killer of Izmery: a certain "Zimbabwe", his nickname; like the
farcical trial of the infamous Roger Lafontant. You will need experts in
interrogation, documents analysis and authentication, crime reconstruction,
Live victims you say, yes, Haiti has plenty of that, it is a national
product, but one will need eyewitness victims willing to testify accurately
and truthfully, point out accused (Toto Constant) that they have seen in
criminal action. It has been said that he gave orders; members of FRAPH wore
face masks to do their bastardly deeds; all things that have to be
satisfactorily proven, even under the French/Haitian system which is heavily
slanted against the accused.
Borrow the forensic experts you say... Well, be advised that "La Constitution
Haitienne ne permet pas l'utilization d'experts etrangers" which is the
formula the legal work group of which I was a member ran into in 1995 when we
were shipped there by the US Dept. of Justice to assist Haiti in its Judicial
Reform. Whenever things got too hot the sacred formula reared its official
(I often wonder if Brian Concannon, Esq. ever met the formula in his effort
and work put forth in Haiti. ... but that is another story)
I chose to use some of the endowed wisdom and will not provide detailed names
and/or circumstances publicly here. Suffice it to say that I am convinced
that Haitian authorities of all ideology do not really want to air certain
political/historical chapters of recent past. If you are allowed to dig too
much who knows where the digging will stop. Perhaps it might all lead to
one's own doorsteps. When it comes to criminal investigations, inquests re:
certain political assassinations, and countless other political events which
took place in Haiti, the perceived political position in Haiti and in the US
as well, seems to be "Ne pas reveiller les chats qui dorment."
So first let us see if Haiti can take advantage of the money and effort put
forth by its various international friends to really reform its judicial
system before embarking upon grandiose legal trips such as trying the Toto
Constant of the world. Let us see Haiti give accused felons trials all year
around instead of may be twice a year at Les Assises time. Let us see
juvenile courts trying all the juvees parked like animals at Fort National
without formal charges and legal representation. Let us see the parquet of
Port-au-Prince meting out justice on a consistent basis instead of putting
people "au depot" to never hear from them again. Let us see indigent
defendants in Haiti receive competent legal representation instead of being
represented by eager stagiaires who never get to speak to their clients and
who receive their clients' dossier from the parquet the afternoon before the
next day trial. Let us see Juges de Paix who when shown the techniques to
make fingerprints visible to the naked eye and to lift them off objects do
not proclaim in awe "blan sa a gin poin". Let us see magistrates who do not
issue arrest warrants based upon "li bam la gen an, mwen mete l nan tiwa, li
fe miste, li rale kob la". Let us see people sentenced to "travaux forces a
perpetuite" actually do some "travaux" of any sort instead of non-stop domino
playing in the prison yard at rue du Centre. Let us have a criminal justice
system for all the Haitian people instead of one for the people at cite Katon
for instance and another for .... Kenscoff. Let us arrest unruly criminal
children of all sorts instead of the homeless sons and daughters of Ti Soya
only. When was the last time one saw any child of the upper crust arrested in
Let us really get it together.
It is important to march to force the neighbor do the right thing.
It is equally if not more important to march to force our leaders to do the
right thing with our criminal justice system.
Then and only then let Toto Constant walk into the Palais de Justice for
And I will be proudly watching the trial with the rest of the whole civilized