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#5200:INS releases 48 detained Haitians in past week (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Published Saturday, September 30, 2000, in the Miami Herald 
INS releases 48 detained Haitians in past week
 The Immigration and Naturalization Service has released 48 Haitians
from detention over the past week, including nine Friday. The nine were
part of a group of 14 that the Border Patrol detained Sept. 22 on
 Dania Beach. On Tuesday, 29 more landed on Hollywood Beach. The
releases were announced as about 100 Haitians and supporters rallied
 outside the INS building, at 7880 Biscayne Blvd., shouting, ``Equal
treatment for Haitians!'' ``This is the first time the INS has done
something. They are recognizing Haitians as people just like anyone
else,'' Marleine Bastien, president of Haitian Women of
 Miami and one of the rally organizers, told the spirited group.
 INS spokeswoman Patricia Mancha said it was not a change in INS policy
toward Haitians. Activists for Haitian immigrants have often complained
that the INS's ``wet-foot, dry-foot'' policy toward Cuban migrants --
which allows them to stay in the United States if they reach land --
does not apply for Haitians. ``Each case is looked upon by its own
merit,'' Mancha said. ``Their case is still pending.'' Cheryl Little,
executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, said
 there is no reason why the Haitians should not have been released
because they are in deportation proceedings. ``I guess what is unusual
about it is it happened as quickly as it did,'' she said.
 Nine of the group that landed on Dania Beach were released from Krome
 detention center Friday after the Border Patrol completed an
investigation into smuggling, said INS spokesman Rodney Germain.