Haitians claim to the U.S. the same immigration policy for Cubans

12 August 2011

Hundreds of Haitians in Miami protested today against the “discriminatory policies” U.S. that, say, by his standards are different to those for immigrants from other countries, “especially in Cuba.”

The protesters, who picketed the office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Miami, called for immigration reform that allows them to have benefits similar to those Cubans who have a family reunification program.

According to the organizers reminded in a press release, the Haitians are repatriated when they try to reach the United States, while the Cubans are allowed to remain in the country by the so-called policy of “wet foot, dry foot”.

Under an agreement between Cuba and the U.S., Cubans intercepted at sea, even a few meters from the shore, should be repatriated.

However, according to a U.S. law that manage those foot on land can remain in this country and after a year to obtain residency.

Marleine Bastien, executive director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan organization Miyami said in that statement that the U.S. give a more direct and meaningful support to the Haitian whether to approve a family reunification program.

“The program was renewed for the Cubans in 2009 and 2010, but a similar one for Haitians still pending. We are here to ask in one voice, equal treatment for Haitians,” said Bastien.

In January, several human rights organizations filed with the Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a request that the U.S. government to suspend deportations of Haitians.

The petition argued that deporting them would cause “serious” violations of human rights because Haiti was still recovering from the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010 and dealt with an epidemic of cholera.

Haiti was ravaged by a powerful earthquake of 7 degrees on the Richter scale that killed 300,000 people, many injured and 1.2 million homeless.

The damage was between 7,000 and 14,000 billion dollars, according to estimates by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).