A possie in Aussie

January 14, 2010

Earthquake: Will the US still refuse Haitian refugees?

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people,racism,refugee — Nayano @ 7:23 am
Tags: , , ,

via Twitpic

Thousands are feared dead in Haiti in the aftermath of the massive 7.0 earthquake that struck near Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince yesterday, and Change.org’s immigration blog is calling for Temporary protected Status for the 30,000 Haitians currently in the US, and who are facing deportation. Demand Temporary Protected Status for Haiti

You may well think that protection of these Haitians would be a given, but the treatment of Haitian asylum seekers is one of the United States most shameful aspects.

The US welcomed Cubans fleeing after the Cuban revolution in 1959, despite the fact that they were unauthorised arrivals. When Haitians began to flee the Duvalier regime in 1971, however, the US denied them asylum, despite strong parallels with the Cuban situation.

Guantanamo Bay was used as an off-shore detention centre in 1991 court order prevented the forcible return of asylum seekers to Haiti, preventing the asylum seekers from accessing the judicial appeals process.

Refugee claims of El Salvadorians and Guatemalans during the same period were not as easily accepted as those of Cubans, but the US meted out especially heinous treatment to Haitian asylum seekers.

Human rights groups then waged a campaign of civil disobedience to enable refugees from these countries to enter the US illegally, called the ‘sanctuary movement’.

In 1990, a new entrance category of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was instituted as solution for the tens of thousands of people who had gained entry and support from the sanctuary movement. Under this system, nations (or parts thereof) can be periodically designated as eligible for TPS, and people who are granted this status may live and work freely in the U.S. for the duration of the designated period, but  are not eligible for permanent residency (US Citizenship and Immigration Services 2009).

You can join the petition for TPS for Haitians at http://www.change.org/actions/view/end_all_deportations_to_haiti_and_grant_tps_status_to_haitians#letter_form



  1. I say send them all to Australia,

    Comment by Tim Grant — January 31, 2010 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

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