Treatment of Forced Returnees

Created April 13, 2011

IACHR PM5/11.

“On February 1, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Gary Resil, Harry Mocombe, Roland Joseph, Evel Camelien, and Pierre Louis, in the United States. The request for precautionary measure alleges that the lives and health of these individuals could be at grave risk if they were to be deported to Haiti, given that once they arrived in the country they would probably remain in custody, without access to food, drinking water, and adequate medical treatment. It also indicates that these individuals have their immediate families in the United States and that most of their family members in Haiti had died in the January 2010 earthquake. The Inter-American Commission asked that the United States suspend the deportation process in the case of the five beneficiaries until such time as: (1) Haiti is able to guarantee that detention conditions and access to medical

care for persons in custody comply with applicable minimum standards, and (2) the procedures in place to decide upon and review the deportation of the five beneficiaries adequately take into account their right to family life and their family ties in the United States.”

UNHRC Report on Haiti at 10.

“Forced return

  1. ... Many countries have announced that they are suspending forced-return programmes, but others have stuck by the decisions taken before the natural disaster, thus piling victims on top of victims. The independent expert is extremely concerned about these decisions and he points out that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees have issued a joint emergency appeal to countries to suspend all forced returns to Haiti because of the persisting humanitarian crisis.
  2. At least for the stabilization period and until these persons can return safely and permanently the independent expert recommends that all countries should refrain from expelling Haitians and continue to provide decent temporary arrangements for their protection on humanitarian grounds.

DOS 2010 Report. Haiti, at 8.

Some returnees, some of whom spent substantial portions or most of their lives abroad, alleged corruption, widespread discrimination, and social abuse after returning home. Reported discriminatory practices included arbitrary arrests, false accusations about their activities to local police, and extortion attempts against them and their families abroad during the initial detention phase, in exchange for quicker release from administrative quarantine.

DOS 2010 Report. Haiti, at 13

“Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

“...Persons deported from other countries were sometimes subjected to amendments in their Haitian passports by the Immigration office, denoting the infraction for which they were deported.

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