April 05, 2010

Rescued from Haiti Only to be Detained for Lacking Visa

After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, about thirty survivors were rescued from the rubble by U.S. Marines and were promptly ushered into U.S. military personnel planes and were promised security and medical care once they would arrive in the United States.
However, what sounded like a heroic rescue mission after the suffering they had endured, soon turned into a nightmare. Shortly after landing, the survivors were handcuffed and detained in a privately operated immigration prison in Pompano Beach, Florida. Despite numerous legal advocates' attempt to persuade government official to release the innocent detainees, no action was taken to provide medical treatment for the thirty Haitians.
The survivors were finally released two months later, after the New York Times published an article regarding their unjust imprisonment.
"Rather than being welcomed in the U. S. of A, and getting the refuge that they expected, they were detained for two months here at the Broward facility," said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.

One is left to wonder what would have been their fate without media coverage.

To read the rest of the article, click here.
To read the Times article that prompted their release, click here.

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