MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Nearly 700 Haitians slated to be sent back to their homeland were released from U.S. holding facilities in 2010 because of a year-long moratorium on deportations.
The moratorium was put in place by the Obama administration after a massive earthquake rocked Haiti in January 12th, 2010. After the quake, Haiti was ravaged by cholera and poverty was able to handle and influx of deportees. According to the law, people slated for deportation cannot be held for more than six months, so the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had no choice but to release them back onto the streets once their time in custody had expired.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that of the 687 Haitian convicts released, 90 were taken back into custody in 2011 and deported after the moratorium ended in January 2011. Another 16 are back in detention and are awaiting deportation.
Of the 500 Haitians still out on the streets, some are on supervised release while others are out on their own recognizance.
According to ICE, some are seeking “legal relief” to halt their deportations while others have been granted “an immigration benefit.”
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CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.