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Published Friday, March 31, 2000, in the Miami Herald 

 Unless President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno intervene
 immediately, more than 10,000 Haitian immigrants will be left out of an
 immigration amnesty that expires today. That means these immigrants,
the vast majority of whom have built solid lives here, could be deported
to Haiti, an increasingly lawless and corrupt country many of them fled
years ago fearing for their lives. While the administration waits to
find out whether there's support for a legislative fix, Mr. Clinton
should relieve anxiety in the Haitian community by granting those
 immigrants Deferred Enforced Departure. It's a special provision in the
law allowing immigrants facing deportation to remain in the United
States until conditions in their home countries improve. It's been done
on previous occasions for other immigrants fleeing conflicts in
Nicaragua and elsewhere. In this case, a so-called DED grant is a matter
of basic fairness, giving Haitians seeking residency the time needed to
gather documents and to pay fees. Ms. Reno must not force 10,000 people
to face the prospect of returning to Haiti and leaving behind their
U.S.-born children.
 Moreover, her failure to act will add to the perception that Haitian
immigrants are treated more harshly -- some say because most are black
-- than others. In 1997, Congress granted amnesty to Cubans and
Nicaraguans who came to the United States before December 1995, even if
they had entered illegally. Yet Haitians, who also faced political
turmoil at home, were left out of that amnesty. Although they were
included in a separate law a year later, that measure -- unlike the one
for Cubans and Nicaraguans -- barred as many as 10,000 Haitians who fled
Haiti using fraudulent visas or passports. Ms. Reno must waive charges
arising from those actions. Adding further insult to Haitians were
regulations issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service that
established the March 31 deadline for submitting amnesty applications --
the same deadline for Cubans and Nicaraguans, who had a full year's head
start to meet its requirements. Shockingly, the INS didn't release the
final guidelines for Haitian applicants until 10 days ago. If the
administration is to demonstrate that black immigrants aren't subjected
to more arduous requirements than white immigrants, it will grant the