Haiti Democracy Project




National Call-In Day Friday, May 17, 2002, for Haitian Asylum Seekers Unjustly Detained in Miami!


Haitians are being singled out for discriminatory treatment under a targeted detention order in Miami, Florida, where about 250 Haitian asylum seekers--including some children--remain in detention pursuant to a new policy of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). While the INS permits asylum seekers of virtually all other nationalities with credible claims to be released from detention in Miami, since December, only Haitians are being detained under a specific order from Washington.


National Call-In Day: Light up the switchboard of the White House on FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2002. Call President George W. Bush and tell him to stop the INS from using detention to punish vulnerable asylum seekers. President Bush is going to Miami on Monday, May 20, to help his brother in his gubernatorial reelection campaign. Ahead of that trip, TOMORROW, we need to make sure that he hears from us about this situation.

How to Participate in the National Call-In to President Bush on Behalf of Detained Haitian Asylum Seekers!

How to call-in:

Simply dial 202-456-1111 and follow the voice instructions.

What to expect:

You will be forwarded to one of President Bush's comment operators. You will leave your message with this person. You may be put on hold, so be patient, and wait for the next available operator.

What to say:

Be sure to share your name and from where you are calling. Be prepared to share your address and phone as well, as they may send you a response to your comment.

Call-In Text:

I am calling to respectfully encourage President Bush to grant parole from detention to a group of around 250 Haitian men, women and children asylum seekers who are being detained under a discriminatory "no-release" policy based on their nationality.

The asylum seekers have all passed credible fear. In the past, the INS Miami District, implemented a fair release policy toward Haitians and other asylum seekers that favored release to family or community sponsors once the asylum seeker demonstrated a credible fear of persecution.

This current policy that uses the threat of detention against valid asylum seekers is both illegal and unacceptable.

Repercussions of the unnecessary detention include overcrowding in the prisons and many asylum seekers going before the immigration judge without legal help or representation.

As the world's leader in exemplifying the ideals of freedom, democracy, and protection of human rights, we must ensure that our policies do not work against those facing severe persecution in their home country and deter them from exercising their legal right to seek asylum on our shores.

Please instruct the Miami INS District to restore its fair and equitable release practice for Haitians and end the discriminatory detention policy of asylum seekers!

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2303 17th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 · (202) 588–8700 Haiti@inxil.com · James R. Morrell, executive director