Haitian Refugees in the U.S.
Swartz, Dale Frederick
London: Minority Rights Group
1986, 20 pages
Describes the issues surrounding Haitian immigration and the U.S. government's historical resistance to admit Haitians as political refugees. While the U.S. has argued that the majority of the Haitian "boat people" are seeking only greater economic opportunities, Haitian advocates contended that these people are fleeing political persecution. In addition, advocates believed that the boat people deserved a full and fair hearing on their claims for political asylum. This reports covers: (1) the history of Haiti, including its renown as the richest colony in the world, the development of a rigidly stratified society along the lines of race, early political achievements undermined by foreign interventions, U.S. occupation, the Duvalier era and Haiti's descent into political, economical, and social turmoil, and human rights violations; (2) the Haitian Diaspora, including emigration to the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and the U.S.; (3) the Haitian impact on South Florida; (4) the U.S. refugee policywith regard to Haitians compared to refugees from other countries; and (5) prospects for rebuilding Haiti as well as easing restrictions on Haitian immigration.
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