The Human Rights and Immigration Clinics at Miami Law recently appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. to make their case against resuming U.S. deportations to Haiti. Despite the cholera outbreak and deteriorating post-earthquake conditions, the United States deported 27 Haitian men in January, resulting in the tragic death of Wildrick Guerrier after he was exposed to unsafe and inhumane conditions in Haitian jail. Under a longstanding practice, Haiti indefinitely detains all deportees with criminal records who arrive from the United States.
At the formal working meeting, the United States sent representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and State Department to defend its actions.
Nneka Utti, a 2L student in the Immigration Clinic, reflected on the experience: "The collaborative effort between the clinics and their partners sheds much-needed light on the injustice of resuming deportations to Haiti and reminds us that even the most marginalized members of our society deserve humane treatment."
The working meeting came on the heels of the United States government posting an official policy statement regarding deportation to Haiti. In response to the policy statement, the Clinics submitted comments to the policy which were joined by hundreds of organizations and individuals.
"The opportunity to attend the working meeting at the Commission gave us a peek at how the Inter-America Human Rights system works and interacts with the U.S. government and how the human rights system can effect policy change," commented Beatriz Carta Wagman, a LL.M. student in the Human Rights Clinic. "I was able to see how the multi-faceted advocacy and litigation approach we employed during the semester to present the case came together. It was a great experience."
The Human Rights and Immigration Clinics are partnering with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Alternative Chance, FANM/Haitian Women of Miami, and the Loyola Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice in the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Click here to read the Clinics' working meeting submission to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Click here to read comments from organizations and individuals opposing the Haiti deportation policy.
Click here to read a sign-on letter opposing the United States' policy statement on resuming deportations drafted by the Miami Law clinics and their partners.
Click here to read more about the collaborative effort between the Human Rights and Immigration Clinics to stop deportations to Haiti.