ACLU and Congresswoman-Elect Frederica Wilson Call on Obama Administration to Avert "Human Rights Disaster," Halt Deportation of Haitian Nationals

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Brandon Hensler, Director of Communications, (786) 363-2737 or media@aclufl.org

ACLU and Congresswoman-Elect Frederica Wilson Call on Obama Administration to Avert "Human Rights Disaster," Halt Deportation of Haitian Nationals

MIAMI - The ACLU today was joined by
Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose district includes Miami’s
Little Haiti, in calling on President Barack Obama and Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano to refrain from deporting Haitian nationals with
criminal records who have completed their sentences.

In the letter sent today by the
ACLU’s Washington Legislative Director Laura Murphy and ACLU of Florida
Executive Director Howard Simon, and co-signed by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica
S. Wilson, the ACLU implored restraint on the part of the Administration in
light of pressing human rights and humanitarian concerns and the raging cholera
epidemic that has taken hold in Haiti.

“We ask President Obama to hold
off on removing Haitian nationals from this country in light of the horrific
conditions now facing our neighboring nation,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of
Florida Executive Director. “It is within his power to show leadership
and prevent a civil liberties and human rights disaster.”

“Current conditions in Haiti are
simply too dangerous to allow for the safe return of Haitian nationals with
final removal orders,” added ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office
Director Laura Murphy. “If this administration resumes deportations to
Haiti in mid-January, this administration will not only jeopardize the lives
and safety of Haitian deportees, but will also violate international human
rights and refugee laws.” 

Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S.
Wilson noted: “I am keenly aware of the devastation and the impact the
present situation has on the constituents in my district and on their families
in Haiti. The trauma and heartbreak is tremendously catastrophic,” said
Representative-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose Congressional District (FL-17)
includes Miami’s Little Haiti. “My Congressional District includes
the largest Haitian population in America, so I am faced with the misery and
the suffering on a daily basis.”

A PDF copy of
today’s letter can be found here: http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/HaitianLetter-2010-12-29.pdf

About
the ACLU of Florida

The
ACLU of Florida is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts,
legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms
guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  For additional
information, visit our web site at: www.aclufl.org.

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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