MIAMI (CBS4) – Undocumented Haitians living in South Florida at the time the devastating Haitian earthquake hit are allowed to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Now the American Civil Liberties Union and more than 50 other human rights groups and immigration advocates are asking United Nations officials to urge the U.S. to stop deporting convicted criminals to Haiti.
The organizations issued a joint statement Thursday at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. They say widespread cholera in Haiti and lingering devastation from a January 2010 earthquake make it inhumane for the deportations to continue.
The U.N. Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti has expressed concerns about the deportations. His recommendations urge a “flexible and generous attitude” toward Haitian nationals abroad.
The U.S. suspended all deportations to Haiti after the earthquake.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported 100 Haitians since deportations of convicted criminals resumed in January 2011.
Federal officials say about 48 thousand Haitians in the U.S. are eligible for the temporary protected status. Ineligible for TPS is anyone who has been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States, or is subject to one of the criminal or security-related bars to admissibility under immigration law. There are other restrictions involving criminal activity, human rights violations, and public safety.
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