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Lawyers Across U.S. Seek Deportation Moratorium for Haitians

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  • Lawyers Across U.S. Seek Deportation Moratorium for Haitians

    On Jan. 19, 2006, immigration attorneys and advocates in key cities throughout the United States will simultaneously submit motions that all deportation proceedings against Haitians be dropped.

    The lawyers will ask immigration judges to administratively close immigration cases involving Haitians due to the terrible human rights conditions in Haiti.

    The motion to dismiss the cases, written by Philadelphia-based attorney Thomas Griffin and Colorado-based attorney Desiree Wayne, asserts that an immediate decision "protecting Haitians from forced return is imperative."

    "Despite the ongoing chaos that continues in Haiti, including brutal civil strife, documented bloody political conflict, indisputable countrywide insecurity and the proven inability of the Haitian state to protect its own people, the United States continues to refuse refuge to fleeing Haitians," the motion states.

    With a mandate previous wielded by the Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security can grant Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to refugees from any troubled nation. TPS temporarily suspends the forced repatriation of nationals to countries whose governments cannot protect them from immediate threats to their lives, freedom, and welfare. "The criteria are armed conflict, civil strife, and environmental disaster," explained Tom Griffin. "For any one of these reasons a country can get TPS. Haiti qualifies under all three categories."

    The "Motion to Stop Deportations to Haiti Campaign" involves some 200 lawyers and has been endorsed by dozens of human rights and activist groups and individuals. It is an effort to "circumvent" the Bush administration's refusal to grant TPS to Haitians.

    The nationals from seven countries presently enjoy TPS: Burundi, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

    The same day as the nationwide filings, press conferences will be held in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia to discuss the motions.

    "We're also holding press conferences to put some pressure on the Bush administration to grant Haitians TPS, which would be better than having to resort to these motions," Griffin said.

    The lawyers in the campaign are hoping to create a cascade effect, where judges in one district will influence those in another to administratively dismiss cases. "We decided to organize the filings on one day was so it would have a greater impact," Griffin said.

    Motion authors Griffin and Wayne are both well-placed to know the dire situation of human rights in Haiti. Griffin was the author of a celebrated human rights report on Haiti released by the University of Miami Law School in January 2005, and is a former Federal investigator. Desiree Wayne, a former Federal prosecutor, is the chief prosecutor for the on-going International Tribunal on Haiti (see Haïti Progrès, Vol. 23, No. 37, 11/23/2005).

    Among the dozens of organizations endorsing the campaign are Alternative Chance, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Haiti Support Network (HSN), Haitian Lawyers Association, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Jesuit Refugee Service, National Council of Churches of Christ USA, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and TransAfrica Forum.

    It is also supported by many dozens of lawyers and law professors as well as prominent individuals such as immigration author and expert Mark Dow, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, and Haitian health crusader Dr. Paul Farmer.

  • #2
    On Jan. 19, 2006, immigration attorneys and advocates in key cities throughout the United States will simultaneously submit motions that all deportation proceedings against Haitians be dropped.

    The lawyers will ask immigration judges to administratively close immigration cases involving Haitians due to the terrible human rights conditions in Haiti.

    The motion to dismiss the cases, written by Philadelphia-based attorney Thomas Griffin and Colorado-based attorney Desiree Wayne, asserts that an immediate decision "protecting Haitians from forced return is imperative."

    "Despite the ongoing chaos that continues in Haiti, including brutal civil strife, documented bloody political conflict, indisputable countrywide insecurity and the proven inability of the Haitian state to protect its own people, the United States continues to refuse refuge to fleeing Haitians," the motion states.

    With a mandate previous wielded by the Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security can grant Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to refugees from any troubled nation. TPS temporarily suspends the forced repatriation of nationals to countries whose governments cannot protect them from immediate threats to their lives, freedom, and welfare. "The criteria are armed conflict, civil strife, and environmental disaster," explained Tom Griffin. "For any one of these reasons a country can get TPS. Haiti qualifies under all three categories."

    The "Motion to Stop Deportations to Haiti Campaign" involves some 200 lawyers and has been endorsed by dozens of human rights and activist groups and individuals. It is an effort to "circumvent" the Bush administration's refusal to grant TPS to Haitians.

    The nationals from seven countries presently enjoy TPS: Burundi, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

    The same day as the nationwide filings, press conferences will be held in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia to discuss the motions.

    "We're also holding press conferences to put some pressure on the Bush administration to grant Haitians TPS, which would be better than having to resort to these motions," Griffin said.

    The lawyers in the campaign are hoping to create a cascade effect, where judges in one district will influence those in another to administratively dismiss cases. "We decided to organize the filings on one day was so it would have a greater impact," Griffin said.

    Motion authors Griffin and Wayne are both well-placed to know the dire situation of human rights in Haiti. Griffin was the author of a celebrated human rights report on Haiti released by the University of Miami Law School in January 2005, and is a former Federal investigator. Desiree Wayne, a former Federal prosecutor, is the chief prosecutor for the on-going International Tribunal on Haiti (see Haïti Progrès, Vol. 23, No. 37, 11/23/2005).

    Among the dozens of organizations endorsing the campaign are Alternative Chance, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Haiti Support Network (HSN), Haitian Lawyers Association, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Jesuit Refugee Service, National Council of Churches of Christ USA, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and TransAfrica Forum.

    It is also supported by many dozens of lawyers and law professors as well as prominent individuals such as immigration author and expert Mark Dow, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, and Haitian health crusader Dr. Paul Farmer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whyle el salvadorian,guatamalians hundarian and others enjoy the protection of the TPS which unable undocumented migrants to stay in the united states for a limited time, Haitians nationals are repeatedly denign this status whyle their country is even worse then the other countries currently on TPS....This is double standard, Bush only cares about spanish migrants and could care less about black africans migrants....

      I urge you to sent a letter to your lawmaker and ask bush why he's only worry about the spanish speaking countries and not black countries like haiti.

      Comment

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