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|Sujet: Wyclef Speaks Up For Haitians Facing Deportation Mar 3 Mar 2009 - 2:50|| |
Wyclef Speaks Up For Haitians Facing Deportation
CaribWorldNews, POMPANO BEACH, FL, Mon. Mar. 2, 2009:
Grammy-winning singer and ambassador Wyclef Jean is among hose speaking out against the US` plan to deport over 30,000
Haitians back to their homeland.
Jean and his brother Melky on Saturday joined a Florida rally that called for an end to deportations of Haitians `now.`
Pointing to the widely discriminatory immigration policy in the U.S. that favors some over others, Jean said, `It's important that Haitans get the justice that our Cuban brothers and sisters get. This is not a Haitian cause, it's a human
being cause.'' And he added, `To help Haiti you can't deport 30,000 people.
It's like putting more sand on the beach.
It's not right that people that have been here for 20 years get deported and are sent away from their kids.
They deserve a fair chance.
However, despite the outrage in some quarters, less than 300 people showed up at the protest march, at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach. The protest was supported by members of Haitian Women of Miami (FAMN),
Haitian Citizen United Taskforce (HCUT), the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), Unite for Dignity and the Florida
Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), among many other concerned community members.
Advocates insist that the Haitian nationals should not be deported to Haiti but should be given Temporary Protected Status in the U.S. based on the back-to-back storms that hit Haiti last summer.
They say conditions in Haiti remain abysmal, since the storms destroyed 15 percent of the country`s GDP or `the equivalent of 8 to 10 Hurricane Katrinas hitting the U.S. in one month.`
Advocates also point to the fact that the U.S. State Department has renewed travel warnings on Haiti due to the destructive impact` of the storms.
The Bush administration stayed deportations to Haiti in September only to resume them abruptly in December after temporary protected status was denied. This was a last-minute Department of Homeland Security policy reversal.
People in the Haitian community could be deported at any time and are even afraid to go to their churches. We should not live in fear, but need to speak out for justice. Stopping the deportations is the first step,` said Bob Louis-Jeune of the Haitian Citizen United Taskforce (HCUT) and Palm Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (PBIRC).
`We understand that President Obama’s focus is on the economy,but Haitians have been suffering for so long.
At a strike of a pen, he can end their misery! It makes strong economic and humanitarian sense for him to do so.
It is time to right this wrong` said Marleine Bastien, Founder and Executive Director of FANM/Haitian Women of Miami.
In 2008, Obama campaigned vigorously for South Florida's Haitian vote but so far his administration remains mum on the issue.
Haiti`s Ambassador to Washington, Raymond Joseph, says he`s still awaiting a response from the new secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on the issue.
After Congress established TPS in 1990, Washington granted 260,000 Salvadorans, 82,000 Hondurans, and 5000 Nicaraguans protection, then extended it on October 1, 2008.
Besides El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, past recipients included Kuwait, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Montserrat, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Angola.
Six nations still have TPS, but all face expiration in 2009 unless extended. Haiti is not among them.
More than 30,000 Haitians have been ordered to leave, with about 600 of those in detention as of Feb. 9, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Additionally, 243 were under a form of house arrest and were being monitored with electronic ankle bracelets.
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