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9897: Refugee update from the INS (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

December 6, 2001


h 185 Haitian migrants are being detained by the INS in Miami.  They 
arrived here on December 3.

h There are 142 adult males, 27 adult females, 15 minor males, and 1 minor 

h The adult detainees are being housed in detention centers.  Females with 
children are being detained in a more suitable environment.  Unaccompanied 
minors are being housed at a facility specifically for children.  The needs 
of all detainees are a top priority for the INS and they are being met 
continuously.  At this time, there is no need for assistance from the 

h Each detainee is required to be detained while the INS processes their 
cases.  This process includes a number of interviews that will take several 
days to complete.

h The INS is conducting a criminal investigation into this smuggling event, 
and that will factor into the decision to consider releasing some detainees.

h Those detainees who are eligible for release and meet the criteria that 
INS uses (not a threat to the community, not a flight risk) will be 
considered for release when we have completed our initial processing.  I 
cannot tell you how long this will take, but the INS is working hard to 
complete its job.

h While we are in the process of completing the initial stages of 
processing, and because this is an on-going criminal investigation, I cannot 
provide the names of the detainees.  I am also unable to allow any visitors 
at this point.

h The INS is confident that we will complete the initial processing of 
these migrants cases in a timely manner.  We ask that the community 
exercise patience and understand that the INS is required to conduct a 
thorough investigation into the arrival of these migrants.  When the INS has 
information related to the possible release of these migrants, we will 
inform family members and those within the community with whom we work on a 
daily basis.

h We remind the community that entry into the United States by this means 
is not only illegal, but also very dangerous.  The INS is committed to 
stopping illegal immigration, which unnecessarily puts peoples' lives in 

John C. Shewairy
Chief of Staff, INS Florida District

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