ERIC Number: ED217086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
Haitian Refugees Need Asylum: A Briefing Paper.
National Council of the Churches of Christ of the United States of America, New York, NY. Church World Service.
Haitian refugees who are seeking political asylum in the United States are finding themselves unwelcome. Although various reports attest to continuing persecution in Haiti under the repressive Duvalier regime, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service claims that the Haitians seek only greater economic opportunity and are not genuine political refugees. Many Haitian refugees in the United States have been denied due process, subjected to superficial inquiry methods and coercive measures, put in jail, or sent back to Haiti as "voluntary returnees." A State Department study team reported no evidence of persecution of refugee returnees in Haiti. However, the study methodology demonstrates flaws which render the team's conclusions questionable. The U.S. government contends that granting asylum to the refugees would lead to a mass influx of Haitians as well as of Mexicans, Caribbeans, and Central and South Americans. The facts refute this contention and demonstrate that generally, Haitian immigration to the United States has increased only during periods of severe threats to Haitian lives and liberty. Refugee policy must be able to distinguish between those who are fleeing persecution and those who only seek economic betterment. The Haitian situation demands that Haitian refugees be accorded special treatment by the U.S. government. (MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of the Churches of Christ of the United States of America, New York, NY. Church World Service.
Identifiers: Haiti; Immigration and Naturalization Service