#Human Rights
U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, ...Intl Law
United States of America

A "refugee" is not the same as just an immigrant. The term "refugee" is referred to a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such a fear, is unwilling to avoid himself/herself of the protection of that country (1951, UN Convention Relating to the status of Refugees).

Haitian refugees in the United States have long been labeled as immigrants because Haiti is a poor country and most Haitians are poor. Haitians have been denied asylum in much greater numbers than people from other nations. In reality, many Haitian asylum seekers are fleeing conditions that should ensure approval of asylum for them.

U.S. immigration policy treats Haitian migrants so differently from Cubans. Cubans are immediately granted asylum if they reach American soil, while Haitians are sent to the krome Detention Center to await hearings that could take months...and get deported.

Racism and economics are the true reasons for this unequal treatment. Haitians are mostly black and poor, and many of them are illiterate. Cubans are mostly white in appearance, many of them are rich or have connections with the rich.

U.S. detentions and interdiction policies toward Haitians are harsh and unfair. As Christian activists, we cannot tolerate a policy that favors a group of refugees over another based on color and economic status.

We are demanding equal treatment for all refugees. We want a humane policy for all refugees: rich and poor, black and white, Cubans and Haitians. All refugees deserve to be treated with dignity.

Fleurise Davis, LL.M.
Executive Director
L.I.F.E. Rights International

We, L.I.F.E. Rights International, call on U.S. lawmakers to approve legislation that will protect Haitian refugees just like the "Wet Foot Dry Foot policy" that protects Cubans. Haitian refugees who make it to the shores should file for asylum and be released to family members, be able to work and receive other kinds of assistance, and not be held at the Krome Detention Center like criminals.

The A Humane Policy for All Refugees petition to U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, ...Intl Law was written by LIFE Rights international and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.