[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
6556: Haitians seek help to stay in U.S (fwd)
From: nozier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Published Saturday, January 6, 2001, in the Miami Herald
Haitians seek help to stay in U.S.____ by JACQUELINE CHARLES
With less than two weeks before President Bill Clinton leaves office,
immigration advocates are calling on him to help thousands of Haitian
the verge of being deported. The deportations, say advocates, would
affect at least 10,000 Haitian families, forcing those with U.S.-born
children to choose between returning to Haiti with their kids or leaving
their children behind in the United States.
``It's a horrific decision for these families,'' said Cheryl Little,
executive director of
the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. ``It's a no-win, no-win
situation for these
families.' Several advocates including the Haitian-American Grassroots
sent a letter to Clinton on Thursday, are asking the president to
refugees with temporary protected status by ordering the Justice
delay their deportation for 24 months and allowing them to be covered
Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act. Presently, the families are
being denied the opportunity to adjust their status under the act
because many of them entered the country using fraudulent documents.
Until last month, advocates were hopeful that Congress would pass a more
sweeping immigration bill, the Central American and Haitian Parity Act
of 1999, that would have granted Central Americans and Haitians the same
political asylum that a 1997 law gave Cubans and Nicaraguans.
Instead, GOP members only passed certain provisions, among them:
thousands of immigrants to pay a $1,000 fine and stay in the United
their applications for residency are processed. Under current law,
applicants must return to their home countries to wait anywhere between
three and 10 years while the paperwork is processed. The fine provision,
however, runs out on April 30.
By intervening on behalf of the Haitian families, Clinton would in fact
them time -- to make another attempt at Congress, something they admit
be even more difficult under a Republican-led administration. ``These
have not abused their welcome. Many have worked, paid taxes and
this community,'' said Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian
That's exactly what Riguad Moise, a former Haitian army officer, has
says he spent seven months under house arrest after refusing to shoot
during the country's coup d'etat against President Jean-Bertrand
being released, Moise used a fake passport to come to the United
His wife, Cinette Dorlus, 33, also used a fake passport to flee Haiti.
One of the
couple's three children was born here. ``It's hard for us to leave the
kids here and go to Haiti,'' Dorlus said. ``I don't know what to do. I
can't go back to Haiti and leave my kids here.''