ALTERNATIVE CHANCE/CHANS ALTENATIV
A self-help, peer counseling and advocacy program for Haitian criminal deportees
June 3, 2013 -- Alternative Chance fought for years for the Haitian government to stop its illegal and life-threatening detention of criminal deportees arriving in Haiti. And more recently, as a Co-Petitioner to a Precautionary Measures Petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2011, we brought to light the inhumanity and illegalities of such a practice made even more deadly while Haiti’s cholera epidemic has taken lives of many detainees in Haiti including a criminal deportee within days of being deported. We also highlighted the vulnerability of the mentally ill and those suffering from serious medical conditions.
Criminal deportees arriving in Haiti are detained by the police from early in the morning to late at night for processing and interrogation. The Haitian government states that it is not currently holding any criminal deportees overnight in detention. It is hard to substantiate this. Over the years, and as recently as 2012, the police moved criminal deportees around to various police stations in and around Haiti’s capital and as far away as Archaie.
In my interviews with the police and Haitian government officials when I was in Haiti in March and April 2013, I learned that those deportees with drug convictions may be held over night or nights in detention while awaiting separate interrogation by Haiti’s anti-drug trafficking unit of the police. Also, those being investigated for possible crimes in Haiti or are wanted for crimes in Haiti will be detained.
This recent stated practice of not detaining criminal deportees upon arrival has not been put into writing by the Haitian government despite requests by the United States government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Unfortunately, we believe any suspension of detention of criminal deportees upon arrival is temporary.
Further, criminal deportees continue to be targeted by the Haitian government and its police once they are in the community and are targeted for arrest and detention in police stations or in the national prison system. Criminal deportees continue to be subjected to torture, executions and mob violence.
For further information: email Michelle Karshan at AlternativeChance@gmail.com
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Expert Witness re Haiti Deportation
Info re Boston area convictions
FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! URGENT! Are you deported to Haiti for a conviction you got in Massachusetts anytime between 2003 through mid-August 2012? Were you convicted in either Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Worcester counties? Was it a drug conviction? (Even if you were convicted in a different county, and it was for a crime other than drugs, please contact me anyway to see if your case may qualify at some point)
Write me immediately at Michelle.Karshan@gmail.com or at AlternativeChance@gmail.com You may be eligible for free review of your conviction right now. A special legal committee has already been set up in Massachusetts to review eligible cases. I will explain it to you further in email. This is a result of the Jamaica Plain crime lab scandal. Federal and state prosecutors are working together to identify defendants affected by the lab problems. Hundreds (or it may be thousands) of cases are being thrown out or reversed.
Look for us on FACEBOOK for frequent updates and legal issues
A Guide to Returning to the United States After Deportation: A Guide to Assess Your Eligibility
How to Ask ICE to Release You from Detention and Allow You to Stay in the United States until Post-Earthquake Conditions in Haiti Improve, University of Miami School of Law
Overview of (petitioners) campaign to Stop the Deportations to Haiti
2-page briefing sheet to STOP THE DEPORTATIONS with calls to action
Haiti: IACHR - Haitian Removals SYNOPSIS and attachments
Deportation 101: A Community Resource on Anti-Deportation Education and Organizing
The Precautionary Measures Petition filed at the IACHR of the OAS
The IACHR decision
Continue to suspend deportation to Haiti, by Michelle Karshan, Sun-Sentinel, January 19, 2011
Alternative Chance, together with Five other Civil and Human Rights Groups, File Emergency Human Rights Petition To Stop Imminent Deportations To Haiti: Earthquake, Cholera And Violence Is Death Sentence
International Human Rights Commission Summons U.S. to Stop Deportations to Haiti Following First Deportee Death
CONTACT: Jen Nessel, CCR 212.614.6449, firstname.lastname@example.org, @theCCR; Shonna Carter, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000; Elizabeth Amore, University of Miami (305) 284-6266, email@example.com
International Human Rights Commission Summons U.S. to Stop Deportations to Haiti Following First Deportee Death
Rights Groups Demand U.S. Comply, Calling Earthquake, Cholera and Violence a Death Sentence After Rare Inter-American Commission Action
February 4, 2011, Miami, FL and Washington, D.C. Today, in response to an emergency petition filed on January 6, 2011 by six rights groups, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) took a rare step and urged the U.S. government to cease deportations to Haiti immediately for persons with serious illnesses or U.S. family ties. The action follows the first reported death of a person deported by the U.S. since removals resumed on January 20, 2011. In its decision, the IACHR expressed concern that detention centers in Haiti are overcrowded, and the lack of drinking water and adequate sanitation or toilets could facilitate the transmission of cholera, tuberculosis, and other diseases.
The deceased, Wildrick Guerrier, 34, exhibited cholera-like symptoms but is believed to have received no medical treatment while in a Haitian police station cell in the midst of a cholera epidemic. A second deported person was reportedly exhibiting cholera-like symptoms and released without medical attention.
Michelle Karshan, Executive Director of Alternative Chance, a re-entry program for criminal deportees in Haiti, responded: The IACHR has rightly and courageously come through on the side of life, family and human rights. By resuming the suspension of deportations to Haiti for now, the U.S. can truly demonstrate its commitment to aiding Haiti through this difficult period towards real reconstruction."
We implore the U.S. Government to follow the IACHRs instructions, said Sunita Patel, Center for Constitutional Rights Staff Attorney. Stop the deportations to stop the deaths. The Obama administration should live up to its promise to abide by human rights obligations and protect the right to life of Haitians in the United States.
The emergency petition for precautionary measures, submitted by the University of Miami School of Law Human Rights and Immigration Clinics, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Alternative Chance and the Loyola Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, argued that deporting people at this moment to Haiti, which is still reeling from the devastating January 2010 earthquake and burdened with a massive cholera epidemic, political unrest and street violence, will result in serious human rights violations, including deprivations of the rights to life, family and due process, and freedom from cruel or unusual punishment.
Deportations from the U.S. to Haiti had been stayed on humanitarian grounds since the January 12, 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti. Advocates and community members were shocked when, on December 9, 2010, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unexpectedly announced that it was lifting the ban on deportations to Haiti for individuals with criminal records and would resume deportations in January 2011, just one year after the earthquake. On January 20, 2011, the U.S. resumed deportations to Haiti, deporting an estimated 27 people of Haitian origin, several of whom had not set foot in Haiti since they were young children.
Our petition warned that Haitians would be at imminent risk of death if deported to Haiti, said Romy Lerner, FIAC Supervising Attorney. Now our worst fears have been realized. Our government must stop all deportations to Haiti at this time.
The U.S. Government has blood on its hands, said Rebecca Sharpless, Director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law. While detained in Louisiana, Wildrick Guerrier expressed grave concerns that he had no family in Haiti, that he had not been to Haiti for a very long time, afraid of what would happen to him in Haiti and of the cholera outbreak. He was right to be terrified.
While the IACHRs decision on the emergency petition is limited to deportations of persons of Haitian origin who are seriously ill or who have family members in the U.S., advocates are hopeful that the Commission will extend the scope of its decision in the future.
We will now pursue this as a case on the merits alleging permanent harm in light of the limited ruling of the Commission and in light of the long-term harm that has befallen these 27 individuals and their families and others in the pipeline, said Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Director of the Human Rights Clinic at University of Miami School of Law. We have requested a hearing before the Commission during its March period of sessions. There, representatives from the U.S. government will need to look the Commissioners in the eye and explain their governments past and future actions.
To read the request for precautionary measures, visit http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/iachr-haitian-removals. To read the IACHRs decision, visithttp://www.cidh.oas.org/Comunicados/English/2011/6-11eng.htm.
Rights Groups File Emergency Human Rights Petition To Stop Imminent Deportations To Haiti
January 6, 2011, Miami, FL and Washington, D.C. Today six civil and human rights groups filed an emergency petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), to halt the roundups, detention, and imminent deportations of hundreds of Haitian nationals by the United States government. The petition, submitted by the University of Miami School of Law Human Rights and Immigration Clinics, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Alternative Chance and the Loyola Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, argues that deporting people at this moment to Haiti, which is still reeling from the devastating January 2010 earthquake and is burdened with a massive cholera epidemic, political unrest, and rampant street violence, will result in serious human rights violations, including deprivations of the rights to life, family, and due process, and freedom from cruel or unusual punishment. Click link below for full story and link to the actual petition file with the IACHR.
Our Contact Information
NEW YORK MAILING ADDRESS:
70A Greenwich Avenue
New York, New York 10011
Attention: Michelle Karshan, Executive Director
NEW YORK & HAITI TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
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We check for messages everyday.