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a548: INS releases Haitian woman, confined four years

From: JD Lemieux <lxhaiti@yahoo.com>

Published Monday, January 28, 2002

INS releases Haitian woman, confined four years

Convicted of an aggravated felony and held for
deportation to Haiti, Fredeline Dauphin was released
Friday after nearly 2 1/2 years in detention.

After serving 18 months in jail for aggravated
assault, Dauphin was detained by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service for the purpose of returning
the diabetic 26-year-old mother to her native country,
which she left at age 8.

Immigration laws passed in 1996 mandate the
deportation of foreign nationals convicted of
aggravated felonies.

Dauphin's attorney won the reprieve for his client on
the grounds that she would have faced extreme hardship
in her native country.

``It's important to know the treatment meted to people
deported to Haiti,'' said Dauphin's attorney, Mitchell
Cohen, who used an innovative legal argument to win
her release -- that conditions are so deplorable in
Haiti's jails, they rise to the level of torture.

He says that although the release verdict on Dauphin
was not labeled a precedent-setting case, it could
affect the fate of immigrants who are being held
indefinitely at Krome detention center and other
detention facilities.

Born in Haiti but raised in South Florida, Dauphin
doesn't speak Creole or French.

``I'm glad I didn't go,'' she said late Sunday. ``They
put you in jail with no food.''

Dauphin has been reunited with her three sons -- now
5, 7 and 9.

Although she once dreamed of becoming a social worker,
her immediate plans are to attend Miami-Dade Community
College and to find a job.

``I'm going to pull myself together,'' said the
mother, who requires two insulin shots a day.

``I missed four years of my life, four years of
freedom. I'm going to make the best of it.''

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