MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Several groups are calling for US Customs and Immigration Enforcement to release a group of Haitians who landed on Hillsboro Beach, and to give them a chance at due process.

Leaders in the Haitian community and supporters held a press conference Wednesday at a Haitian Community Center in Miami after a group of Haitians tried to make it to the US to live free.

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One woman lost her life and 19 others arrived Monday on Hillsboro Beach.

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The group is asking for three things; to release those that made it here, to release the names of Haitians, and to stop the double standard.

Muriel Florvil wonders if her cousin, Angela Celeste, is among those being detained at Broward Transitional Center. She and the rest of her cousin’s family is not sure if she’s one of the 19 that made it Monday—or the one that lost her life before getting to shore.

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“She’s a family member we’ve been searching for her for over 12 days now,” said Florvil. “We’ve been getting the run around.”

Florvil said that her cousin’s mother is currently in the hospital after suffering a heart attack from hearing the news.

Haitian leader Marleine Bastien said they want the list of those at the center and want them released. And most of all, they want the double standard to stop.

The Haitian community has argued for a long time that there is a double standard, they say when Cubans arrive they are allowed to go through a process and get citizenship. However when Haitians arrive, they are sent back to Haiti—the only way for them to be here legally is to apply for a visa, a lengthy process which sometimes never comes to fruition.

US Government says that Cubans and Venezuelans, when coming to the US, they are seeking political asylum and that’s why they are held to a different set of standards—which many Haitians have argued is not fair.


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