Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 060262
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File Number: 060262 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-298-06 Control: County Commission
File Name: HAITIAN MIGRANTS SEEKING POLITICAL ASYLUM IN US Introduced: 1/30/2006
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 3/7/2006
Agenda Date: 3/7/2006 Agenda Item Number: 11A18
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REVISIT ITS POLICY TOWARD HAITIAN MIGRANTS WHO FLEE HAITI SEEKING POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE U.S. AND PROVIDE A FAIR AND REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR HAITIAN MIGRANTS TO MAKE CASES FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM
Indexes:
  HAITIANS
  POLITICAL ASYLUM
Sponsors: Dorrin D. Rolle, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 3/7/2006 11A18 Adopted P

Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 2/15/2006 2K Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P

County Attorney 1/30/2006 Assigned Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 2/15/2006

County Attorney 1/30/2006 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REVISIT ITS POLICY TOWARD HAITIAN MIGRANTS WHO FLEE HAITI SEEKING POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE U.S. AND PROVIDE A FAIR AND REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR HAITIAN MIGRANTS TO MAKE CASES FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM

BODY
WHEREAS, attention was recently drawn to the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy related to Cuban migrants when several individuals were not allowed to remain in the United States who had reached a bridge deemed "non-functional" in the Florida Keys, see Resolution No. 122-06; and
WHEREAS, while Haitian migrants who reach U.S. soil have an opportunity to apply for political asylum and argue their case before an immigration judge, Haitian migrants interdicted at sea have virtually no chance of even applying for political asylum; and
WHEREAS, during 2005 only nine Haitians migrants out of the 1,850 Haitians interdicted were able to overcome the administrative obstacles presented to demonstrate a fear of repatriation to receive a screening by immigration authorities on U.S. Coast Guard vessels, and only a single Haitian migrant out of the 1,850 Haitians interdicted was granted political asylum; and
WHEREAS, given the political upheaval that has occurred recently in Haiti and continues, it is inconceivable that only one Haitian migrant could show a well-founded fear of persecution and thus was granted refugee status during 2005; and
WHEREAS, current federal policy instructs U.S. Coast Guard officials not to take any steps to encourage asylum claims when they come across migrants at sea and not to initiate interviews that might determine whether a Haitian migrant has a possible asylum claim or even ask migrants if they need political protection; and
WHEREAS, Haitian migrants only get access to an asylum officer if they somehow communicate a fear for their lives, a virtually impossible task when, in all but a few cases, Coast Guard officials do not speak Creole and do not have Creole translators available; and
WHEREAS, the current federal policy toward Haitian migrants denies them a fair and reasonable opportunity to make a case for political asylum, and sends them back to an uncertain future in Haiti, where, given the upheaval occurring there, it cannot be known how many Haitian migrants are killed, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges President Bush and his Administration, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to revisit its policy toward Haitian migrants who flee Haiti seeking political asylum in the U.S. and provide such migrants a fair and reasonable opportunity to make cases for political asylum.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to President Bush and the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation.



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