This copy of a rare volume in its collections,
digitized on-site under the
LLMC Extern-Scanner Program,
is made available courtesy of the
Saint Louis University Law Library
HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
INRNi RE RELATIONS
HOUSE OFR P1 ENMJES
NOVEMBER 18, 1975
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 63-435 O WASHINGTON : 1975
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402 Price $2.10
-- n~ -- -l*-ll- ~J~~~ & .j
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
THOMAS E. MORGAN, Pennsylvania, Chairman
CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI, Wisconsin WAYNE L. HAYS, Ohio L. H. FOUNTAIN, North Carolina DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida CHARLES C. DIGGS, JR., Michigan ROBERT N. C. NIX, Pennsylvania DONALD 31. FRASER, Minnesota BENJAMIN S. ROSENTHAL, New York LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana LESTER L. WOLFF, New York JONATHAN B. BINGHAM, New York GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania ROY A. TAYLOR, North Carolina MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusetts LEO J. RYAN, California CHARLES WILSON, Texas DONALD W. RIEGLE, JR., Michigan CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York HELEN S. MEYNER, New Jersey DON BONKER, Washington
WILLIAM S. BROOMFIELD, Michigan EDWARD J. DERWINSKI, Illinois PAUL FINDLEY, Illinois JOHN H. BUCHANAN, JR., Alabama J. HERBERT BURKE, Florida PIERRE S. DU PONT, Delaware CHARLES W. WHALEN, JR., Ohio EDWARD G. BIESTER, JR., Pennsylvania LARRY WINN, JR., Kansas BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York TENNYSON GUYER, Ohio ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California
MARIAN A. CZARNECKI, Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
DONALD M. FRASER, Minnesota, Chairman
DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida EDWARD J. DERWINSKI, Illinois
BENJAMIN S. ROSENTHAL, New York PAUL FINDLEY, Illinois
MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusetts CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois
ROBERT B. BOETTCHER, Subcommittee Staff Consultant
THOMAS R. SMEETON, Minority Subcommittee Staff Consultant JOHN SALZBERG, Special Consultant JEANNE M. SALVIA, Staff Assistant
Carmichael, Andrew J., regional counsel, Immigration and Naturalization 'Page
Service, Department of Justice ------------------------------------- 45
Cassidy, Rev. Jack, director of planning and development of the Christian
Community Service Agency of the Haitian Refugee Steering Committee_ 10 Chapman, Hon. Leonard F., Jr., Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice --------------------------- 16
Gollobin, Ira, attorney at law, New York City -------------------------- 30
Heavrner, Ted, head, Office of Caribbean Affairs, Department of State --- 28 Luers, William H., Deputy.Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs,
Department of State ----------------------------------------------- 1
Pappas, Chris, Acting Deputy Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, Department of State ------------------------------------------------- 25
Schoenenberger, Robert, Regional Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice ------------------------------- 20
Strasser, Daniel, County Officer for Haiti, Department of Justice -------- 53
MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
"28 Deported Haitians Tell of No Reprisals," article from the Toronto Star,
January 13, 1975 ---------------------------------------------------- 5
.Specimen of Form 1-589, Request for Asylum in the United States .------- 21 "Specific Cases of Asylum Applications Rejected," submitted by William
H. Luers, Department of State -------------------------------------- 30
Program for funeral service of Haitian refugee Turenne D6ville, submitted by Mr. Ira Gollobin, March 23, 1974 -------------------------- 34
Letter addressed to Congressman Dante Fascell, dated December 12,
1975, from William H. Luers, Deputy Assistant Secretary for InterAmerican Affairs, Department of State, pertaining to the Embassy
followup on Haitians deported from the United States to Haiti--------. 42
Letter addressed to Hon. William D. Rogers, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, dated November 7, 1975, from Congressman Dante B. Fascell, requesting a "senior official" to testify on the subject of human rights in Haiti along with questions to be answered for the
hearing ----------------------------------------------------------- 59
Letter addressed to Congressman Dante B. Fascell, dated November 22,
1975, from Hon. William D. Roberts in response to the November 7, 1975,
letter -------------------------------------------------------- 60
Statement of Hon. William Lehman, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Florida-------------------------------------------------- 61
Report of Fact-Finding Task Force on the Haitian Situation in the United
States pursuant to action adopted at the February 28, 1974, meeting__ 62 Report of Senator Edward W. Brooke, "U.S. Foreign Assistance for Haiti," April 1974 -------------------------------------------------------- 73
Examples of affidavits of Haitian refugees in connection with presenting additional facts not presented to the Immigration and Naturalization Service .----------------------------------------------------------121
Resolution in support of Haitian refugees. National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., February 28, 1974--------------------------- 125
Sections taken from the 1973 Amnesty International Report on Torture and the Amnesty International Annual Report for 1974-75 ------------ 133
OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission Report, April 24, 1973--- 135 OAS report concerning the human rights case of Roland Chassagne, April 24, 1973 .-------------------------.-------------------------------- 136
~L~IIIIIII LIII-rllll I I
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
Other Documents in the Series
Human Rights in the World Community: A Call for U.S. Leadership. March 27,
1974.1 (Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements).
International Protection of Human Rights: The Work of International Organizations and the Role of U.S. Foreign Policy. August 1; September 13, 19, 20, 27; October 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 18, 24, 25; November 1; December 7, 1973.' (Hearings before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.) Human Rights in Chile (Part 1). December 9, 1973; May 7, 23; June 11, 12, and 18, 1974.2 (Joint hearings by the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements and the Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs.)
Treatment of Israeli POW's in Syria and Their Status Under the Geneva Convention. February 26, 1974.' (Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements and the full committee.)
Problems of Protecting Civilians Under International Law in the Middle East Conflict. April 4, 1974.' (Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.)
Human Rights in Africa: Report by the International Commission of Jurists.
June 13, 1974.' (Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.)
Review of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. June 18 and 20, 1974.' (Hearings before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.) Soviet Union; Human Rights and Ditente. July 17 and 25, 1974. (Joint hearings
by the Subcommittee on Europe and the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.)
Torture and Oppression in Brazil. December 11, 1974.' (Before the Subcommittee
on International Organizations and Movements.)
Human Rights in South Korea and the Philippines: Implications for U.S. Policy. May 20, 22; June 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 24, 1975.' (Before the Subcommittee on International Organizations.)
Human Rights in Chile (Part 2). November 19, 1974.2 (Joint hearing by the
Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs and the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.)
Human Rights in South Korea: Implications for U.S. Policy. July 31, August 5,
December 20, 1974.2 (Joint hearings by the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements.)
1Document only available from Government Printing Office. 2Document available from Government Printing Office, or from International Relations Committee.
Document available from the International Relations Committee only.
HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1975
House oF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOM3ITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The subcommittee met at 2 p.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dante B. Fascell, presiding.
Mir. FASCELL. The subcommittee will come to order.
Congressman Fraser regrets he is unable to be here this afternoon because of his responsibilities as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.
In recent years there have been an increasing number of arrests of Haitian citizens for illegal entry into the United States. Many of these Haitians have claimed that they are fleeing from political tyranny and have requested asylum in the United States.
Questions have been raised by their lawyers, church groups and in the press and elsewhere about the political situation in Haiti, procedures followed by the executive branch in evaluating claims of political asylum, and the Immigration Service's treatment of Haitians arrested in the United States.
To discuss these -and related issues we plan to hear Rev. Jack Cassidy, associate director of the Christian Association Community Service Agency of Miami, Mr. Ira Gollobin, volunteer attorney for the National Council of Churches, and Rev. John Schauer of the Church World Service. I had intended they be heard first. Since they are not here and I do not think we ought to delay this matter any longer, we will just go ahead.
We -are pleased to welcome today Mr. William Luers, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs for the Department of State and Gen. L. F. Chapman, Jr., Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice. Gentlemen, if you will come up to the table, we shall be glad to hear your statements. Since I have written both Departments of the general nature of the problem before this subcommittee, I am sure you will deal with all the issues that have been raised. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM H. LUERS, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS BUREAU, DEPARTMENT OF
Mr. LUERS. AMr. Chairman, Mr. Rogers, the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, deeply regrets his inability to be here today. As you know, he personally is vitally interested in the whole range
of issues relating to human rights as is the Department of State. He wanted me to convey personally to you his regrets that he had to be out of the city. I have with me Chris Pappas, acting deputy coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, Ted Heavner and Daniel Strasser from the Office of Caribbean Affairs in the Inter-American Bureau of the State Department.
Mr. Chairman, may I express my appreciation for the opportunity to address here today the human rights situation in Haiti and the problem of Haitians illegally in the United States. I believe these are areas of considerable concern, interest and possibly some confusion. The Department thus welcomes the opportunity to focus on these matters and looks forward to any fresh insights or suggestions which these hearings may yield.
Let me say at the outset that the extralegal movement of people from abroad to the United States is by no means a problem exclusively related to Haiti. Indeed, in quantitative terms, the yearly movement of Haitians to the United States is probably only a very small fraction of the total number of people entering the United States illegally from Mexico and from other Caribbean countries. I will not hazard a guess as to the actual number arriving, but we do have information on the countries of origin of illegals expelled, either through formal deportation or voluntary departure, by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and these figures may be a rough index. In fiscal year 1974, Haitians consisted of less than 1 percent of the total number of aliens so expelled from the United States. In contrast, Mexican nationals represented almost 50 percent of the total. The numbers of Haitians expelled-about 700-were exceeded by Dominicans-about 1,700-Jamaicans-about 1,600-and by Trinidadians-about 1,000.
Considering that illegal aliens flow to the United States from so many nations including a number whose governments are parliamentary democracies, I think that any judgment about a cause-and-effect relationship between the flow of Haitians and the nature of their government is at best very doubtful. A phenomenon common to countries as diverse, for example, as Jamaica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad, is not readily explained in terms of governmental style. I think, rather, the explanation must be sought in basic economic and population factors which are endemic in the developing world.
Human rights and refugee affairs-our concern for these issues is close to the heart of our national character. In his speech this July in Minneapolis on the moral foundations of foreign policy, Secretary Kissinger focused on American values as an underlying element in the conduct of our foreign relations. He said: We have never seen ourselves as just another nation-state pursuing selfish aims. We have always stood for something beyond ourselves, a beacon to the oppressed from other lands, from the first settlers to the recent refugees from Indochina. This conviction of our uniqueness contributed to our unity, gave focus to our priorities, and sustained our confidence in ourselves. It has been and is a powerful force.
Our humanitarian concerns come to the fore quite naturally and quite rightly in the case of Haiti. Life is hard in that country. Per capital annual GNP is below $150. Per capita caloric intake is the
second lowest in the world, lower than even Bangladesh. Population density per square kilometer of arable land is over 490, which means that in many cases there is less than an acre for a family farm. In fact, in Haiti the total land under cultivation actually exceeds what is regarded as 'arable land, due to the cultivation of marginal tracts.
Under these circumstances it is not surprising that emigration is relatively high, running at an estimated 20,000 per year. The United States receives only a portion of this outmigration, with other countries of the Caribbean and Canada receiving the majority.
If Haiti is poor, it has also had 'a reputation for political repression. The story of Haiti is, for the most part, a history of authoritarian leadership punctured by frequent coups. Only 6 of 34 chief executives completed their terms of office. Under the late President Francois Duvalier, the political situation within Haiti was epitomized by the ton-ton macoutes, a much-feared and very arbitrary security organization.
It is a melancholy fact that proverty and repression are often found together. But they are not synonymous, and our laws require that we separate the two categories in the case of illegal aliens in our country. With our increasing concern for human rights, the question is frequently raised as to why we make such distinctions, how they are made and what is the result.
Mr. Chairman, I believe this is one of the key questions raised in your letter to Mr. Rogers of November 7, 1975. In this context, I must first say that the role of the Department of State in dealing with asylum seekers in this country is advisory. Responsibility for all aliens once in the territorial United States lies with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The Service can approve asylum requests without reference to the Department. Because of the Department of State's knowledge of political conditions in other countries and to insure that asylum seekers get full consideration of their requests, however, INS must seek our recommendations on doubtful cases and on those which INS considers to be without substance.
Each case is first referred to the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs for review by both case officers and supervisory personnel. It is then sent to the Regional Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, where it is reviewed by officers responsible for country affairs. These officers are familiar with the history, politics, and personalities of the country. In some instances, the cases are further referred to our Embassies abroad for any information there which might corroborate claims made by 'asylum applicants. Results of these checks and investigations may and often do result in a recommendation which differs from the original INS judgment. We believe this review process is as thorough and humane 'as it can be under U.S. law and regulations and under the realities of our relations with foreign governments.
Since 1972 when the influx of individuals from Haiti to the United States began to rise, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has asked the Department of State to review the cases of-about 1,500 Haitian asylum seekers in the United States.
Some enter on valid tourist visas, others come in small boats from Haiti, still others come in small boats after long periods in the Bahamas. In formulating its recommendations the Department is
required in each case to make what amounts to a judgment about the validity of the claim of each individual refugee. Are they fleeing the poverty of Haiti, searching for employment and -a better life in the United States or are they in fact, political refugees not wishing to return to their homeland because they fear persecution by their own government ?
The answer to that question determines their right to stay in the United States as refugees. Under the U.N. Protocol and Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a political refugee is one who, "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to -avail himself of the protection of that country." Once a contracting state determines that a person is a refugee, the Convention prohibits action to "expel or return a refugee in any manner to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group or political opinion." Thus Haitians found to fall into the category of political refugees are permitted to remain in the United States.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Secretary, we will have to interrupt your testimony to answer the rolleall. This is the second bell. We will have to recess and then come back.
[A short recess was taken.]
Mr. FASCELL. Let me state we have distinguished visitors in our hearing room, three members of the Dutch Parliament who are here to observe a committee meeting of the Congress of the United States. We are delighted to have them and welcome them here to Washington and to this particular subcommittee.
Mr. Secretary, we might as well make an effort to continue. Where were you?
Mr. LERS. I was reading from page 6 on the U.N. Protocol and Convention Relating to Status of Refugees. I was on page 7 at the top of the page.
The Department of State through its overseas posts, also helps to carry out the provisions of the U.S. law regarding entry to the United States for a variety of purposes. Only bona fide immigrants may legally seek employment in the United States. Thus, Haitians who come illegally or enter as nonimmigrants and find employment are subject to expulsion. Currently, the waiting time for immigrant visas from Western Hemisphere countries is about 21/2 years, and only a limited number of Haitians qualify for labor certification under current law and procedures.
In recent years, the United States has permitted 220 Haitians who applied for refugee status to remain in the United 'States. These persons, however, are the exception. The great majority of Haitians who are illegally in the United States say, when first apprehended, that they have come to the United States to seek employment. In very few instances are they able to demonstrate that they have been or will be persecuted by their Government. Frequently they claim that they will be punished on return to Haiti simply because they left their country without permission; but the evidence available to us does not support
such claims. In cases such as these, it is not possible under present laws and regulations to conclude that they are other than illegal immigrants, subject to exclusion or deportation proceedings like similar illegal immigrants from nations throughout the world.
Mr. Chairman, in your letter you asked about the treatment of Haitians who have been returned to their country. We have reason to believe no action is taken against Haitians who are returned to their country after attempting to emigrate illegally to the United States. Early last year, 25 Haitians were returned after their requests for refugee status had been denied. According to our Embassy in Portau-Prince where several of the Haitians concerned were later interviewed by consular officers, none of the 25 experienced difficulties with their government.
A Canadian social worker personally interviewed 28 Haitians deported by the Canadian Government after their requests for asylum had been denied. This was reported in the Toronto Star on January 13, 1975, a copy of which I would like to enter into the record. The deportees were all doing well.
Mr. FASCELL. Without objection, it will be included in the record.
[The Toronto Star article follows:]
[From the Toronto Star, Jan. 13, 1975]
28 DEPORTED HAITIANS TELL OF No REPRISALS
(Special to the Star)
PORT-AU-PRINCE.-A Montreal social worker, who came here to investigate the cases of 28 persons deported from Canada, said he found none in which there had been any reprisals by the Haitian government.
Laurier Bonhomme, 33, said all he could find was that some who had made "political statements" while in Canada were held for a day or two and then released.
"These people were never political refugees; just economic ones," said Bonhomme, who runs a research and information centre for immigrants in Montreal and paid his own way here "to see what the fuss in the French-language press of Quebec was all about."
The federal department of manpower and immigration's refusal to grant all 1,034 French-speaking Haitians refugee status touched off protests from Roman Catholic bishops, opposition politicians and civil liberties groups.
The trouble began when the Haitians went to Canada as visitors and stayed on. There was a loophole in the law that permitted them to appeal to the immigration appeal board immediately upon landing. They did.
By Christmas, 275 cases had been heard. Of these, 153 were upheld and they were allowed to stay, 116 were rejected and 5 died in a car crash. One appeal was withdrawn.
Of the 116 rejected, 64 had been deported by Christmas, three were caught in the U.S., 29 vanished, and 20 were having their deportations arranged.
Leaders of the 13,000-strong Haitian community in Montreal criticized Immigration Minister Robert Andras for ignoring the plight of deportees who, they said, would face almost certain reprisals when they stepped off the plane here.
One of the deportees interviewed here was Carlo Gabriel, 29, whose fiancee in Montreal is sponsoring him. iShe also is Haitian. A tailor here, Gabriel worked as a general laborer delivering for a fruit market in Montreal.
"I was not afraid to come back here," he said. "I had no worries in Haiti when I left and I have none now. When I arrived back in Haiti, I showed my passport at the airport and went home. There was no trouble."
He was in Canada from March 10, 1973, to November 7 last year when he obeyed the deportation order.
Every morning at the Canadian embassy here there are long lines of Haitians waiting for visas, information or documents. Last year, 20,642 came to enquire. A total of 3,110 visas were issued.
Mr. LuEns. On several occasions during the past year, the Haitian Government has enabled consular officers of the Embassy to observe the handling and processing of Haitian deportees on their return. Most recently, they have observed groups which had been deported from the Bahamas and from the Canal Zone. In similar fashion, the Canadian Embassy has been invited to monitor the return of Haitians deported by Canada.
In our experience, the Haitian authorities have done nothing more than verify the identities of these refugees and subject them to brief questioning at the port of entry, then promptly turn them free to return to their home communities. The Haitian -authorities have assured us that their only concern in processing these persons is to verify their identities and to guard against infiltration by possible terrorists or other undesirable persons. Haitian officials have also assured the Embassy that there will be no reprisals against Haitians who departed illegally and who represented themselves as political refugees.
Mr. Chairman, I would now like to address questions relating to human rights in Haiti. Let me emphasize that I have no intention of minimizing the grave abuses of human rights under the late President Francois Duvalier. Less well known are the gains in human rights since Jean-Claude Duvalier became president following his father's death in 1971. Although the state of human rights still leaves much to be desired, the judgment of our Embassy in Port-au-Prince is that the present situation represents a clear break with past patterns of repression in Haiti.
Security forces, including the Tonton Macoutes, have been reduced in number and have had their activities circumscribed significantly. Having declared policies of domestic detente and national reconciliation, President Duvalier has publicly assured Haitian exiles that they could return without reprisals. Hundreds have done so, apparently without problems.
The Amnesty International Annual Report for 1974-75 outlines that organization's continued concern about prolonged detention without due legal process, that is, access to lawyers and family, the right to indictment within a reasonable period-in Haiti. It is also noted in the report that various factors make it difficult to obtain personal data on the prisoners and to establish their status as prisoners of conscience. We share amnesty's concern with respect to these serious deviations from due process. Consistent with our obligations under the U.N. Charter and the American Declaration of the Rights 'and Duties of Man, we have been urging the Government of Haiti to bring its judicial and penal procedures into conformity with universally recognized minimum standards.
On the other hand, I want to note the significant break with past practice effected by the present regime. In the judgment of our Embassy, the change is qualitative. And it is progressive. The trend de-
serves our respect and support. One of the incentives for governments to improve their behavior is external recognition of their achievements. Often the most meaningful comparisons in the human rights field are not those between States, each with its distinctive history, political culture, and economic circumstances, but rather different governmental eras within a single State.
Due process, as we know it, has not been observed in Haiti. It is not a part of the political and legal traditions of the country. Notably lacking are procedural safeguards which we take for granted, including such things as prompt filing of charges against the accused, public trials, and visitation rights.
There are, however, some recent signs of improvement in judicial processes. In a major trial this year, concerning a plot to defraud the State through illegal issuances of postage stamps, numerous individuals detained for questioning were quickly released following a determination of their noninvolvement. The civil trial was held publicly with a brisk defense of those accused by the State. The trial was vigorously debated in the press. In the end, numerous defendants were found not guilty, including a former Minister of State.
We also sense an improving political atmosphere in Haiti. I think Senator Edward Brooke's judgment, expressed in the excellent 1974 report I which resulted from his on-the-ground study of the Haitian situation, is still valid. The Senator said:
Political conditions have improved in Haiti during the past two and one-half years. While the regime continues to function on authoritarian lines-JeanClaude Duvalier is President-for-Life--it has greatly diminished, if not abandoned, the use of force characteristic of the previous regime in implementing its political objectives. The political apparatus, although authoritarian, does not have a totalitarian impact on the society.
Allow me now to deal with some of the specific questions, Mr. Chairman, that you have put forth in your letter to 'Mr. Rogers. There is one caveat to what follows: A tradition of secrecy and isolation still cloaks much of the Haitian judicial and penal operations. This tradition is dying slowly, but it continues to impede the collection of reliable information on the matters you have raised.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Secretary, since you quoted from Senator Brooke's report, we will put the entire report in the record.
Mr. LUERS. Yes, sir.
A. The number of political prisoners in Haiti, that is, persons detained and punished solely for their belief: The latest estimate from our Embassy in Port-au-Prince is that few, if any, individuals are being held solely for their beliefs. We estimate that from 25 to 100 individuals are presently incarcerated as a result of a politically motivated kidnaping in August 1972, and the so-called Ex-colonels' Plot in September 1972, both of which involved an attempted overthrow of the government. We would not exclude the possibility that included among those still held are individuals originally arrested by the former regime. However, it is important to note that substantial numbers of prisoners have been pardoned and released. We are aware of the release of four groups of such prisoners since 1972. The total number involved in these releases according to the government was 196.
x Senator Brooke's report appears in appendix, p. 73.
B. Conditions of detention, access to attorneys, and family: Again secrecy is the determining factor. We are not sure that any political prisoners as defined in the terms of your letter are at present being held. If such is the case, however, we must assume that they are being denied access to legal counsel and are being held for an indefinite period.
C. Torture: Torture and brutality were employed by the previous regime. Since 1971 there have been unsubstantiated allegations that such practices have continued. The best information on this available to us is based on incomplete reports from released prisoners. These reports indicate that torture is not being practiced now. Nevertheless, I must say we do not know what, if any, specific steps to stop this practice have been taken by the Haitian Government nor do we know if any persons have been convicted of practicing torture.
D. Due process procedures: I have already noted that procedural safeguards as we know them are notably lacking. This is due partly to differences between the Napoleonic code and English common law, partly to the history and tradition of Haiti, which we have already discussed, and partly to the nature of the previous regime. As I also said, there are signs of some overall improvement in this situation.
E. Freedom of expression: I would once again cite Senator Brooke's 1974 report on Haiti. He found that, while there was no freedom of the press, there was also no evidence of strict or absolute censorship. Once again, we can measure limited progress. Two of the three major newspapers and four of five radio stations are privately owned and, since early 1974, the media has become increasingly assertive in criticizing failures in implementation of government policies. On the other hand, direct criticism of the President is still unknown.
F. Rights of trade unions: There are a few individual unions organized in specific industries but they are effectively powerless.
G. Freedom of assembly and association: In the final analysis, what Haitians can do in this area is governed by what the Haitian Government will tolerate. Its toleration does appear to be growing. Early this year, for example, a violent clash occurred between local officials in the rich Artibonite Valley and peasants hoping to reclaim land taken from them by a "Ton-Ton Macoute" in the late 1960's. Instead of retaliation by force against the peasants, the Haitian Government dispatched a special inquiry team, headed by the Justice Minister, to sort out, in
H. What representations has the United States made about the human rights question ?
Our concern about the situation in Haiti was made plain during the 1960's when we suspended our assistance activities in Haiti and cut our official presence there to the barest minimum. Conversely, when we began to detect an easing of the situation several years ago, we began to encourage these beginnings of reform. Our efforts are continuing. Moreover, we have, in recent years, taken various opportunities to impress our continuing concern with human rights on various levels of the Haitian Government. Our Ambassador and our Embassy staff in Port-au-Prince have frequently and on a continuing basis made clear our concern in this regard. Within the past month, our Ambassador has raised these issues with two cabinet ministers. He has also raised it with the President in the last 6 months.
We have also taken pains to explain both to the Haitian Foreign Minister in Port-au-Prince and to the Haitian Embassy here in Washin-gton the meaning and possible implications of section 32 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1973. In April 1974, Senator Brooke discussed the human rights situation in a personal interview with President Duvalier. Also in 1974, the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Refugee Affairs called on President Duvalier and other members of the Haitian Government to seek assurances of fair and humane treatment for returning Haitians. In July 1974, the U.S. Government transmitted a request from Senator Inouye of the Senate Appropriations Committee for information about certain individuals allegedly incarcerated in Haiti.
The Haitian response to these and other representations has, for the most part, been cordial and helpful. As I have indicated, our Embassy in Port-au-Prince has been granted unimpeded access to the returned Haitians, and President Duvalier has given every indication of a continuing commitment to economic and social reform in his country.
In part the improvement in the political situation is due to greater self-confidence on the part of the government and a new emphasis on economic development. The President is committed to "economic revolution" as his chief goal. Significantly, the GOH development budget for fiscal year 1976 shows an 80-percent increase over the amount budgeted for the previous year.
I might conclude my remarks by noting that the United States, along with several other countries and the World Bank, is increasing its efforts to help the people of Haiti improve their economic situation. We reopened our AID office in Haiti in 1973 and undertook a very modest program in an effort to see if we could work with the Haitian Government to improve the lot of the Haitian people. The results were encouraging, and we have gradually increased the size and scope of the program since, with a total aid effort of about $8 million last year, including Public Law 480; other donors last year included the IBRD, the IDB, the UNDP, Germany, France, Canada, and the Republic of China. Non-U.S. foreign assistance totaled about $64 million. Both we and other donors are planning further expansion of our programs.
Obviously, this effort is not going to quickly lift the Haitian standard of living. The economic problems there are too intractable for rapid solutions. It is our hope, however, that in the long term, the economic pressures which are forcing so many Haitians to leave their own country will abate and we will see an end to both economic and political refugees from that country.
This concludes my prepared remarks. I shall be most happy to answer any questions you may have.
AMr. FASCELL. Thank you, Mr. 'Secretary. We will defer questions until we have heard all the witnesses. Our other witnesses are here now and I would like for them to come forward if they will, Rev. Jack Cassidy, associate director of the Community Service Agency, of Miami, Mr. Ira Gollobin, volunteer attorney for the National Council of Churches, and Rev. John Schauer of the Church World Service.
Reverend Cassidy, you have a prepared statement and some attachments. Do all of you have statements? .Just one statement.
STATEMENT OF REV. JACK CASSIDY, DIRECTOR OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY SERVICE
AGENCY OF MIAMI, AND SECRETARY OF THE HAITIAN REFUGEE
Reverend CASSIDY. I would like to comment in addition to my statement.
Mr. FASCELL. DO yOU want to put your whole statement in the record and speak extemporaneously ?
Reverend CASSIDY. Yes.
Mr. FASCELL. Without objection, your entire statement together with 'Whatever attachments there are with it will be placed in the record.' You may proceed.
Mr. PEPPER."2 r. Chairman, would you allow me to make an explanation. The Rules Committee of which I am a member, is now in session. I had to run by there to make a quorum. We have a tax bill up before the Rules Committee that we are trying to get out this afternoon. I have to leave if I get a notice here from the committee.
I just wanted to make that statement because I am deeply interested in this matter.
I want to commend Chairman Fascell for having this hearing and giving an opportunity for exploration of this matter that we are all very deeply interested in. If I do have to leave, it is because I have to go to a very important committee meeting.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MRr. LEIIHMAN.3 I am in the same position as Congressman Pepper. I have another committee meeting at this time and they may need me at any time, the Select Committee on Intelligence. As long as I can stay here, I will, and as Congressman Pepper, I am deeply interested in trying to resolve this problem in the most humanitarian way possible.
MRr. PEPPER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add, I have Mrs. Fadell, who has been working with me on this problem from my staff. She is here and she will be here to learn what she can from these hearings.
Mr. FASCELL. We certainly understand. We all have more meetings than we can handle.
Reverend CAssIDY. First, let me apologize for being late. I looked at the sign on the door and it said "International Organizations." I walked in. I was down the hall instead of here. Unaccustomed as I am to speaking before this audienceAIr. FASCELL. That happens to Members of Congress, also. Some people think we are in the wrong room all the time.
Reverend CAssI)Y. I appreciate the presence of Congressman Lehman, Congressman Pepper, and Mr. Harrington. I am Rev. Jack Cassidy, a Minister of the United Church of Christ and director of programs and planning for the Christian Community Service Agency.
I am here today, however, as a spokesman for the governing board of the National Council of Churches and accompanying me here are
I See attachment on p. 12 and appendix p. 125.
2 ion. Claude Pepner, a Renresentative in Congress from the State of Florida.
3 Hon. William Lehman, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida.
Ira Gollobin, who is a voluntary counsel for the Division of Church and Society of the National Council of Churches and Rev. John Schauer who is the director of the Program Agency of Church World Service of the National Council of Churches.
While I speak for the governing board, I obviously cannot speak for all our constituent churches. The governing board is a group of 300 persons selected by the 32 constituent denominations of the National Council of Churches. I want to speak a bit about my personal involvement in the Haitian refugee concerns. As you three from the Miami area are aware, Haitians began to come, the refugees we are speaking of, began to come in December 1972. At that time they were well received by the black Baptist Churches and the black Baptist Ministers. Then they were released from custody, and they were cared for through Friendship Missionary Baptist Church which was the original center for the Haitian refugees. I became involved later when it became obvious that the numbers of Haitian refugees in Miami were too much for that small church and the members of the rather poor black churches of Miami to care for.
Along with other members of my organization, I contacted the National Council of Churches and urged them to make an immediate investigation and do everything possible to bring humanitarian relief to the Haitian refugees in Miami.
Subsequently they appointed an investigation committee to look into the Haitian refugee situation in the United States. I served not as a member, but as a consultant to that committee in Miami and participated in hearings both in Miami and Washington. Testimony was received of Haitian refugees, of the representatives from Immigration and Naturalization Services and other interested persons.
Subsequently, we met in Washington with various authorities from the State Department and from Immigration and Naturalization Service and other interested parties. My agency, the Christian Community Service Agency, is a service -agency which was begun by our constituent denominations to serve Cuban refugees in Miami. I have members on my staff who have worked with Cuban refugees since the early sixties and some even continue to work with Cuban refugees today. Part of our reason, that is the reason of the agency becoming involved in the Haitian refugee situation, is the fact that there is actually no public agency nor any other private agency other than churches giving assistance to refugees in Miami. The United Way called us and asked, "What can you do?" Having a history of working with refugees, we certainly recognize that we could respond to the humanitarian concern and we began then in June of 1973 to notify the churches of the humanitarian need of Haitians in the greater Miami area. Subsequent to that while becoming closely related to the individual Haitians themselves, church leaders, and others who were concerned with Haitian refugees, I became firmly convinced that there was a gross injustice done to these people who have come to our shores seeking political asylum. In reviewing the history of the reception of Haitian refugees, not only I, but many thousands of persons that I have talked to in the Miami community are appalled when they try to compare the treatment of the Haitian refugee to that of the Cuban. Even before the Johnson Act when Cuban refugees came to our shores, they were received with open
63-435 0 76 2
arms and given every assistance and welcome that was possible. None of them went through the kind of process which Haitians, seeking political asylum in our Nation today, are subject to.
They come to these shores much as pilgrims of old from a land 800 miles away, over stormy seas, in small, leaky vessels with very few provisions and no other physical resources than the clothing they have on their backs. They are met abruptly at the shore and very cursorily interviewed and then incarcerated, or taken into custody is the term, by the authorities and not released unless they are able to submit a bail of anywhere from $500 to $1,000. It is true that a number were released on personal recognizance or in custody of the Haitian Refugee Center. As a matter of fact, this, itself, suggests some difficulties.
For instance, women are released without bail on personal recognizance in the community at large. Now when Haitian refugees are released from custody, whether through bailing or whether through the bond system of whether on personal recognizance or in the care of the center, they are denied work authorization. So that whether in jail or whether in the community at large, they are a seriously repressed, neglected people and subject to what we consider to be gross injustice.
I have visited in the jails, particularly the jail in Immokolee prior and during the hunger strike. Here we have 82 men in the county stockade. There are two cells, 41 men in each cell, 35 by 45. By the admission of the attendants at the Immokolee jail, the stockade was so understaffed that they could not even provide a daily opportunity for these men to get outside of that cell except to eat in a small adjoining room.
I took a crew of volunteers with me to meet with the prisoners in Immokolee; we proceeded to take affidavits from these prisoners. They told stories which, if pursued and if attempted to be verified, undoubtedly qualify them, at least as far as our understanding of what the U.N. Protocol defines as political asylum and, without question, would qualify them for far more serious consideration than they have been given by the Services.
Let me read very briefly from one of the affidavits. This is an affidavit by Jean MichelMr. FASCELL. Excuse me, Reverend Cassidy, is this one of the attachments to your statement?
Reverend CASSIDY. Yes; one of the attachments:
I was a member of the group "Les Jeunes Revolutionaries." We organized in September, 1974. Our purpose was to write and distribute literature against the Duvalier Government. There are 17 members in our group. In March of 1975, two members of our Group, Rosante Metelus and Euler Alexandre were shot while putting up signs against the government. Before they died, they were forced to give the names of the other members of the group. That same day the Tonton Macoute-came to my house and arrested me. They also arrested my mother and father. While searching the house, the Macoute (threw things around stand my sister's baby was knocked out of his crib and died. I don't know what happened to my parents. I was taken to jail at Fort Dimanche, beaten and stabbed with a bayonet in my chest. I was bleeding so badly they decided to take me to the hospital. On the way, I broke loose and ran. They shot me in the right arm but I escaped. I went to Leogeone and my friend Michel Benoit took care of me for three weeks. Then we arranged to leave for the U.S. In a boat. There were 21 people in the boat. We stayed in Cuba one day. They gave me medicine for my wounds. We came to the U.S. for life not for food. I am on hunger strike because I came for political reasons. I have been in jail six months and have had plenty of food but this is not enough. If I'm sent back, I go back with arms.
___ _:__ _ __ _
Now this is one of 150 affidavits which volunteers in the Greater Miami community have taken from Haitian refugees. It is not an easy thing to interrogate a stranger who comes to your shores with an entirely different ethnic and cultural background, fearful, apprehensive, untrusting, since they are already fleeing from repression. We found in our interviews that it took anywhere from 2 to 3 hours at times simply to gain enough confidence of the individual through an interpreter to open the person up so that he could really speak from his experience and his heart. We sought to be very specific in terms of names, places, dates, and circumstances which led these refugees to escape their homeland. I am not an authority at all on the situation in Haiti. I would not pretend to be. I am not an authority on law related to immigration and the other critical issues as far as legal matters are concerned related to this case.
I .have had experience in interviewing refugees and I have had people on my staff who have interviewed refugees from as I said, the early sixties. We are firmly convinced that these men and women are telling stories that are valid and making claims that are valid for political asylum in our country. VWe have some six hundred or more who have come in a manner and way which the early Cuban refugees came to our shores and have been treated in the most inadequate and irresponsible ways, incarcerated, and when released, denied an opportunity to support themselves so that they could pursue their legal rights in terms of -an appeal for their claim to political asylum, and depending for their livelihood either upon begging, stealing, prostitution, or the charity of churches.
Our agency has been a service agency for a number of years. We recognize the debilitating effects of charity on an individual. I have daily contact with Haitians in Miami and am in constant touch with the needs and with the struggle for their survival. I can tell you that they do not want welfare. We can as a matter of fact, provide or at least negotiate with some women with children born in the United States for some ADC care or other kinds of welfare. They absolutely refused to pursue that route. They did not come here for welfare. They did not come here for a handout. They came here seeking political asylum. When they say they want jobs, what they mean is that they want the opportunity to prove through legal means, whatever legal means are available and possible, their claim for political asylum. They have been denied work authorization and the national council along with local attorneys have been pursuing a resolution of that in the courts.
However, the crux of the problem is the fact that we have people in limbo, many of them since December 1972, and to our knowledge, Immigration and Naturalization Service has made no effort to seriously interrogate or even recognize the kind of additional evidence that we have submitted on their behalf. These people are in limbo. We have no idea when their cases will be resolved through the courts. We feel very definitely that there are gross injustices in the way in which the Haitian refugee has been treated by the authorities.
I would quote from a statement by the governing board of the National Council of Churches which said: The racial overtones of the treatment accorded black Haitian refugees stands in tragic contrast to the general U.S. Government provisions for Cuban refugees
who are except for a few, white and skilled; which, by implication seems to be saying that our doors are open only to those who are white, skilled and fleeing from socialist governments, thereby sowing seeds of racial strife in Florida and elsewhere and appearing by design or default a champion of dictatorships of the right, no matter how repressive they might be.
Not only the governing board believes this, I have spoken, myself, in the past 6 months to at least 60 churches in the Greater Miami area where I have tried to share with them some of my concerns for the Haitian refugee. Many cannot believe the treatment which Haitian refugees have been given. Without question, whenever they ask me the question, "Reverend Cassidy, do you believe that this is racial prejudice, do you believe that this is selective asylum on the part of INS?" Now, I do not want to make a case for this. What I am saying is that the Miami community, including the black community, the Cuban community, and the Anglo community, are deeply concerned 'about the Haitian refugee and do not understand why they -are treated so badly. I, personally, am grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, and members of your committee for calling this hearing. I hope it will be the beginning of a full inquiry into what we consider to be the injustices related to the Haitian refugee in the Miami community and wherever they may be, and that furthermore through the lesson and experience of this situation others who come to our shores may be truly given the most earnest, decent and humanitarian consideration possible should they seek political asylum.
[The prepared statement of Reverend Cassidy follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REV. JACK CASSIDY ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL
OF THE CHURCIIHES OF CHRIST IN THE U.S.A., NOVEMBER 18, 1975
I am Rev. Jack Cassidy, a minister of the United Church of Christ, presently serving as director of planning and development of the Christian Community Service Agency of Miami and secretary of the Haitian Refugee Steering Committee in that city. I am pleased to appear before you today as a representative of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S,A. for the purpose of presenting the concerns of that board regarding the situation of Haitian refugees in this country. Accompanying me are Ira Gollobin, Esq., voluntary counsel for the Division of Church and Society of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and Rev. John Schauer, director of immigration and refugee programs of Church World Service, National Council of Churches.
The National Council of Churches is a federation of 31 Protestant and Orthodox Christian communities in the United States whose aggregate membership totals approximately 42 million persons.
I do not purport to speak for all members of the communions constituent to the council. I am speaking for the governing board of the National Council of Churches, its highest legislative body, which is composed of 300 members selected by member churches in proportion to their size. It is this body which determines the policy positions on the basis of which the council seeks to fulfill its mandate "to study and to speak and to act on conditions and issues in the Nation and the world which involve moral, ethical and spiritual principles inherent in the Christian Gospel."
The National Council of Churches has expressed concern for the plight of the Haitian refugees through its member denominations and operating agencies since 1972. In February 1974 the governing board of the 'National Council of Churches approved a resolution focusing the concern of the national council regarding the treatment of Haitian refugees and established a task force to investigate the Haitian refugee situation in the United States. The task force conducted inquiries both in Miami and in Washington, D.C., in May 1974 and submitted its report to
NLII-- --- ----s- --
the NCC executive committee in June of that year. (Copies of the February 1974 resolution and the report of the task force are attached to this statement.)
Since December of 1972 more than 600 refugees have survived the 800 mile storm-swept ocean voyage in small boats to seek asylum in the U.S. only to receive cursory treatment by the Immigration Service. Following their initial interviews they are detained in the crudest of facilities and essentially denied the freedom to pursue through legal means their appeal for asylum. On February 4, 1974, the National Council of Churches sent the following telegram to the President and other governmental officials:
N.C.C. appalled at treatment afforded Haitian refugees being held in detention by I.N.S. pending final adjudication of immigration status. The movement by I.N.S. of 50 men to continued detention in Texas and 36 men to Collier County for continued detention from Miami is cruel and unusual
punishment to both detainees and their families.
We find it incredible that in this land of freedom the right to claim asylum is related to the ability of the refugee to support himself during the adjudication of his case and that, being denied the right to work, he is forced to rely upon the charitable contributions of individuals, churches, and other concerned groups. The National Council of Churches through its member denominations has provided a variety of support services to Haitian refugees since June 1974. To date $130,000 has been disbursed through the Christian Community 'Service Agency for food, shelter and legal counsel. In addition, the NCC has provided bail for 106 refugees.
Another dimension to the Haitian refugee problem is the manner in which women are released on their own recognizance without bail and are placed on the streets of Miami to fend for themselves during this period. They, too, are denied the right to work. This means that refugee men, women and children have either to beg, borrow, enter prostitution, or steal for their survival. These are men, and women who, to escape persecution, have come to our shores seeking asylum. To our knowledge, no other refugee claiming asylum in the U.S. has been so treated.
Immediately upon arrival, a systemic miscarriage of justice begins. In one case--at 2:30 a.m.-an Immigration and Naturalization Service investigator "interviewed" the Haitians regarding their asylum claim. "Only the unusual interrogation lasted longer than 20 minutes" (Miami Herald, March 6, 1974) ; some took only 15 minutes. Allowing time for the interpreter's translation from English into Creole and back into English, and for securing biographical information, the political questions usually took less than 10 minutes. The interrogations were in secret, no stenographic or mechanical transcript was made, no attorney permitted, and no opportunity given to present witnesses or documentation. Decisions to deny asylum were generally made the same day. After the denial, no review by an Immigration Judge or by the Board of Immigration Appeals was allowed. The Service summaries transmitted to the State Department for "consultation" frequently consisted of six lines, sometimes less, a major portion of which was biographical (Miami Deputy Director of the Immigration Service. Joseph White, in Miami Herald, July 31, 1974). State Department responses concerning the denial were often made within a day or two. This cursory and meager inquiry constitutes the entire foundation for official decisions rejecting asylum to all 600 Haitians.
This hazardous inquiry procedure has been coupled with harsh actions: (1) requiring $500, at times $1,000, bail from people who are penniless; (2) denying employment authorization to those released on bail (provided by the National Council of Churches) while their cases are being considered by the courts; and
(3) punishing those on a hunger strike protest against oppressive conditions in a Florida jail for criminals by sending them to a jail 2,000 miles from their attorneys in Miami. This treatment is in startling contrast not only with the welcome extended to 700,000 Cubans and 150,000 Vietnamese, but also with the due process accorded to visitors (or even stowaways) who travel here without risk of life and claim asylum long after entry.
There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that the initial cursory process does not meet the needs of justice and does not provide the necessary opportunity for the refugee to present his story so that his claim for political asylum can be substantiated. To underscore this point, we are submitting with our testimony today copies of affidavits of refugees which have been prepared through staff and volunteers of the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, which, in our judgment. fully substantiate their claim for asylum as political refugees.
There is another dimension of this problem which can no longer be ignored. In February 1974 the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches said: The racial overtones of the treatment accorded black Haitian refugees stands in tragic contrast to the generous United States government provisions for Cuban refugees who are, except for a few, white and skilled; which, by implication seems to be saying that our doors are open only to those who are white, skilled, and fleeing from socialist governments, thereby sowing seeds of racial strife in Florida and elsewhere, and appearing by design or default a champion of dictatorships of the right, no matter how repressive they might be.
Since that assertion was made 21 months ago, we have seen no action on the part of the Service which would provide evidence to the contrary. Mr. Chairman, we thank you for this opportunity to appear before the Committee to lay before you the burning evidence of injustice to Haitian refugees seeking asylum in this country. We trust that this will be the beginning of an inquiry which will lead to a resolution of their claim for asylum, and further that there will be a clarification of the procedures related to asylum-seekers so that this scandal related to the Haitian refugees may never again occur.
Mr. FASCELL. Thank you, Reverend Cassidy, for a very fine statement.
We will stay in informal recess now so that we can go and vote on this bill and we will be right back.
[A recess was taken.]
Mr. FASCELL. The subcommittee will come to order, please.
I was going to ask Mr. Gollobin or Reverend Echauer if they had any additional comment they want to make at this time. If not, we will proceed on to our next witness.
We have with us Gen. Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., Commissioner Immigration and Naturalization Service.
STATEMENT OF HON. LEONARD F. CHAPMAN, JR., COMMISSIONER,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. CHAP AN. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, it is
always a pleasure to appear before you. I am accompanied by Mr. Sam Bernsen, General Counsel, Mr. R. E. Schoenenberger, Regional Commissioner, Southeast Region and Mr. Andrew J. Carmichael, Jr., Regional Counsel, Southeast Region.
I appreciate the invitation to appear before the subcommittee with regard to the claim that Haitians deported to their home country would be persecuted. The problem of these Haitian aliens has been a matter of utmost concern to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The first boatload of Haitians who claimed persecution in Haiti arrived from the Bahamas on September 15, 1963, when their sailboat was towed into the port of West Palm Beach by the Coast Guard. There were 25 in this group. Administrative hearings where held and appeals were taken to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Judicial review in the U.S. district court and the U.S. court of appeals followed. The final decision was unfavorable to the aliens and they all departed from the United States, 2 voluntarily and 23 under an order of deportation.
The current movement to the United States of Haitians claiming persecution began in 1972 with a boatload of 60 aliens. Prior to that
time many had gone to the Bahamas to find employment and escape from the impoverished economy of Haiti where the standard of living was among the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. When the Bahamas became independent and their economy began to deteriorate in 1972 a large number of Haitians were expelled and sought entry into the United States. Many had resided in the Bahamas for 6 to 10 years. In their movement to the United States most Haitians who claim persecution usually follow a uniform pattern. Lacking visas, a group in Haiti or the Bahamas buys, rents, or steals a boat and sets out for the Florida shore where they come into port or simply land on the beach. Smugglers have been active in assisting them, using large yachts and boats capable of carrying up to 50 passengers and charging from $300 to $600 each. Some Haitians enter as visitors and then fail to depart. The total number of illegal Haitians who have come to the attention of INS in Miami since December 1972 has reached 1,733 of whom 1,501 remain in the United States.
Let us review the INS processing of these cases. When a Haitian indicates in any way that he or she is raising a claim to asylum on the basis of persecution in his home country, the alien is given every opportunity to present evidence, oral or otherwise, in support of this claim. The evidence is carefully considered by the INS District Director and the views of the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs, Department of State, are sought. Even in cases where that office makes an unfavorable recommendation and the request for asylum is denied by the District Director, the alien is afforded a further opportunity to present additional evidence and seek reconsideration.
Requests for asylum on the basis of persecution have been granted to 164 Haitians; 118 had entered before December 1972. They were members of the Haitian Coast Guard who had participated in an unsuccessful revolt against President Duvalier. The other 46 who had entered on or after December 1972 were found to be political refugees.
In the overwhelming number of cases, however, the evidence that has been presented by the Haitian claimants relates to economic hardship rather than political, racial or social persecution. Unlike other large alien nationality groups which have fled sudden and intolerable political changes in their respective countries-for example, Hungary, Cuba, and Vietnam-almost all of the Haitian claimants seek to enter the United States or to remain here for the purpose of obtaining employment, as do the many thousands of other aliens who come to this country illegally.
Beginning in October 1973, the Immigration and Naturalization Service was faced with its first challenge from the Haitian aliens in the courts. Since that time a total of 21 separate lawsuits have been commenced in behalf of 509 aliens. Of the 21 cases, 3 concern judicial review of final administrative orders of exclusion against 452 applicants for admission. These are still pending. The 18 remaining cases concern 57 deportable aliens in the United States. Eleven of these lawsuits involving 24 deportable aliens have been dismissed by the circuit court of appeals which has found, without exception, that the aliens have not carried the statutory burden of establishing the validity, of their claims to persecution.
Incidentally, the first piece of litigation involved 216 excludable aliens whose petition for review was dismissed by the U.S. district court in December 1973. The case was appealed. On their second attempt, counsel for the 216 aliens persuaded the court of appeals in October of 1974 to remand the case to the district court on the assurance that all of the aliens would submit new affidavits related to asylum claims. To this day, 147 of these have never come forward with such affidavits. Only recently was the Service successful in obtaining a district court order which severed these 147 from the remainder and directed them to renew their earlier appeal.
The Haitians also seek authorization for employment until final disposition of their cases. The Labor Department recommended against the authorization. Current unemployment in Florida is at the rate of 12 percent. The issue of employment has also been the subject of court action. A U.S. district court ruled in January 1975 that it lacked jurisdiction to compel the Immigration and Naturalization Service to authorize employment. That decision was appealed and has been argued. We await a decision from the court of appeals.
At the present time, 126 Haitians in the Miami district are in detention, 80 in various county jails and 44 at the Service Detention Facility at Port Isabel, Tex. Two others while detained, are in hospitals and receiving medical attention at public expense; 39 of these were in a group who arrived as recently as November 6, 1975.
Each detainee has been offered release from custody upon the posting of a $500 bond. This is not a high bond but, indeed, the minimum amount which can be required. The Service commenced requiring minimum bond when it experienced a growing number of abscondees. To date, there have been 262 instances in which Haitian aliens have failed to appear in response to notices at various stages of the proceedings.
On October 5, 1975, the Haitians detained in the Collier County Jail went on a hunger strike. The next day the immigration authorities in Miami received an order from the Collier County Commissioner to have these detainees removed to another facility immediately. The arrangment for transferring the Haitians thus had to be completed by October 6. The immigration authorities were compelled to operate around the clock to effect the transfers, which were delayed into the night hours because of a transportation breakdown. The 44 aliens were moved from a crowded facility to a much more spacious one at Port Isabel which provides better overall detention conditions, including fresh air and exercise. This transfer had first been brought to the attention of the counsel for the aliens and he offered no objection.
One of the detained Haitians committed suicide. He had entered the United States without inspection and his claim to asylum, after full consideration, was denied. He, and others, had been transported to the Miami Airport for removal to Haiti when a judicial writ barred that removal. Deportation was stayed and the aliens were returned to detention. Shortly thereafter the suicide occurred. The Service conducted an investigation during which its officers interviewed the Haitians who were detained at the same facility. All indicated that they did not feel the suicide was the result of fear of being sent back to Haiti. Two of the persons interviewed stated the deceased had
been looking forward to getting out of jail and returning to his homeland. He was aware that his attorney had obtained an indefinite stay of deportation and may have become despondent about the delay in returning home caused by the legal tactics.
All of the Haitians who have entered the United States illegally have been given the opportunity to present individually their pleas for remaining in this country as asylum cases. Those that have been detained have been held because of the concern that they would abscond if released.
Within the past 3 years, no single program or problem facing the Southeast Regional Office has received as much attention from our officials as that of the Haitians. In attempting to administer and enforce the immigration laws of our Nation, officials of the Service have demonstrated extreme patience and an absolute willingness to exercise the best humanitarian judgment. I can assure you that this patience and that willingness will continue.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I shall be glad to respond to your questions.
I would like to add one subject, Mr. Chairman. My statement regarding the Haitians has been directed primarily to those in southern Florida. However, a significant number of illegal Haitians have also been found and continues to be found in our New York district. Currently, deportation proceedings are pending against 1,027 in New York City. Between July 1, 1974, and November 14, 1975, about 15 months, 649 illegal Haitians were located in the New York district, of whom 210 were placed in detention. I further would like to add the point, referring to your opening statement, Mr. Chairman, that in recent years there has been an increasing number of arrests of Haitian citizens. The number we have arrested is only the number with whom we come in contact as on the Florida coast when they attempt to land. How many have landed we do not know about; no one knows.
Further, in New York City, my district director estimates that there are at least a quarter of a million illegal Haitians in that city alone.
Mr. PEPPER. Haitians ?
Mr. CHAPMAN. Haitians, only. A quarter of a million. Even that is a small number in comparison with our estimate that there are at least 8 million illegal aliens total in the United States, of whom at least a million are working, many of them in good jobs.
That completes my statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FASCELL. Reverend Cassidy, will you come up to the table with Mr. Gollobin and Reverend Schauer.
The questioning now can be directed to any or all. Congressman Pepper.
Mr. PEPPER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am very grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me and some of our other colleagues an opportunity to appear here this afternoon and to you for calling this hearing. As you know, all of us in Miami have been deeply concerned about this problem. It is one of those problems that appeals very strongly to your humanitarian instincts.
These people have undergone great deprivation, many incurred great danger in order to get over to our country. I went to Archbishop
Carroll of the Miami Diocese down to a place where the Catholic Church, his diocese had provided a place of residence for a great many of these Haitians. Through an interpreter we asked these different fellows-I do not know, there were 10, 15, or 20 there that day-we asked them what was the occasion of their coming over to Florida. I remember several of them pulled off their shirts and showed big welts and wounds on their bodies where some injury had been inflicted upon them. I do not know what it was or what the circumstances were or what occurred. They all made what one would be impressed by, a very moving statement that they had been tortured or beaten or in some way or another had been punished.
Now, this hearing is designed, I am sure, by the distinguished committee to find out the facts about it. Of course, we have great respect for and great confidence in General Chapman and the Immigration authorities and the State Department. Reverend Cassidy has been to see us with a great many of his people who are concerned about this matter. They were somewhat concerned as to whether there had been as careful an inquiry from each one of these people as might be possible to ascertain whether or not they were telling the truth, whether they were in the category that would give them the right of sanctuary. They were hopeful that the matter might be pursued by the Congress, as well as by the agencies to take affidavits from all these people, and if necessary and so far as possible, try to seek to verify the tales they were telling as to whether or not they had been undergoing experiences back in Haiti that gave them just reason to flee from the country, fearing for their lives and not wanting to go back because they again feared for their lives.
I do know that I did see some of these people, and I was impressed by the sincerity of what they told us. I would like to know if I might, General, how carefully have we checked the statements of these people in this country and, Mr. Secretary, back in Haiti, to see whether or not they are telling the truth ?
Mr. CHAPrAN. MRay I ask Mr. Schoenenberger, our Regional Commissioner, to describe the procedure, Mr. Pepper.
%fr. PEPPER. Please.
Mr. FASCELL. Mfr. Schoenenberger, come on up to the table.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT SCHOENENBERGER, REGIONAL COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
MIr. SCHOENENBERGER. When we first encounter the Haitian, he is given every opportunity to put forth his case. We interrogate him in depth. In fact, we have even devised a form to bring out these matters to go into great detail. Of course, the first page is his biographical data. Then we go into the questions of his family, actions that were taken in his country, any organizations that he might belong to, any political opinions or actions that he has been involved in, anything that his family might have been involved in, such as intimidated or
punished or any other actions; why he would claim asylum, anything he can volunteer to support his claim to asylum.
It is a very comprehensive and in-depth interview.
Mr. FASCELL. Without objection, we will have that form placed in the record. What is the identification of that form?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. 1-589.
[The form follows:]
OMB No. 043-RO560
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
REQUEST FOR ASYLUM IN THE UNITED STATES
(Execute in Duplicate)
INSTRUCTIONS: This form must be presented to the office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service having jurisdiction over your place of address.
NOTE: If additional space is needed to complete answers, use a separate sheet and identify your answer with the number
of the corresponding question.
1 t.NAME (-. i CAPt)(Firt) (MIdd.) 2. N.tity
3. Addes in United Ste 4. C CI ot of Bh 5. DaIe of Bh (Mo./Dn.rel)
6. ALI aHr mmes usM st any -y
7. Firrly Memrs(Nimes ISps. and Chiirn) Place of Bnsh CD of s coMtF whe.- Lted Incl d An Alr.
8. Sorai See ity Number 59. ocupltion I0. Male
II. AaSes. Irn Past Fiv Year.:
12. other Reltirves U.S. (Names) (Addre) ReI&tohip i. iatin Stus
i3. AL.i, A.1i i. U.S. (D.t.) Pt.o. .Ic o Er S l .Dte to Whir A*dittl. L. E.trdd:
Unrt.d S t, VL. a I to.,d ( .) Trp
14. Trl Doment: Type and Numbr Date Issued Valid to: (Dt.)
Restriction~ on Travel Docu. nt Cost Obtined by: Any dGiulty obtainn(11
nv. ED i"i U ". EcD
D Yes No [ Yes 'No
U "Ye." -explIn: UYes'' ephb:
IMNS Ofice A#
17. U o n to-Q y tn. bt t -c.i mass do y- b-Uhew f. win Y p eN.t4- ?
SRsce 0 Reh.st 0 NatimLie C Paitical OpiL Membership n particur scL Ie-rp
18. ve ye a my m a ym yer Men det 4at*Rard, Met. cavitd ad sentmd, a y.ismM Mcane 4 --e abve?
SYr.es No U We. cite iasu~*
Howe yn ever bm Mated fm my Ote Mn n as Yes 0 No W Yes", please llst: 19. Mhy 6 ye 40* won thacrtim cited i& Item 18 abowe mken stast you? 20. Dd ye b l to any a stis) which won cidegd hotl to t.h ntemen of ye Ho C ?ury
2D. ou d
2t. are you ever eps sed yticl ophi.7. meted 7. .er which was gd.d by sut ith s as ,po sd *0 11. 1.4.n t. a ye H.
22. U you b1ee yw c r7m a7sylm c.nt onditie y cM*t. do h -ese codltl .ff.ect yo-u reds m U t n the st of tat
com.ty's =poput? Ye No Hf "Yes', .7zp7:
M. H av you Utan any ctia t .w ll yut persecutl H No ep
24. Has r ram fem or on f -d ated a -sY way beense o y eY-ocn 0 7** C No
26. He. neat fm asylum kco known to th authmitll or ow Ho~e Cato? Yes No F. "Y". how hasl ls
a do you -ink would hpn to y you m t,
27. Have you ever applied tw sIyle 1-1 any omeR Yes 0no U es", emp wht hpyned:
2. Do you has y cim to asyl a th e fact e y overstayed ye leve sed? Yes 0 No Yes".- e :
30. 1 do 1w-r (0r at I ag th c nts o& thes appl t bym a m s t s ,sttemate hea we a d co ct.
subcrib ndM sw* to (ftfr) a tis _y AM. 19at
(Sl*tu. o 1miratm oIcer edl.twsml 11o)
Actim by Disct D-et-:
C 0.ted C Deied
(IThtr wua Ofice,) (Dietdc. DIreor)
(4) ,po se-.e
Mr. CHAPMAN. The title of it is "Request for Asylum in the United States."
Mr. PEPPER. Each one of those people you had contact with had been requested to fill out these forms?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir, since the form was in use. At first we tried to do it ourselves. We found that we needed a form, so, the form was first formulated in 1974, actually. The form you have in your hands.
Mr. PEPPER. This form has been in use since 1974 ?
Mr. SCIOENENBERGER. Yes, sir.
29. Is the any a L- -ti ate to 7 crse na comed by the a oe ostim? C Yes [ N I *Yes", e-phL.
28. Can Ir .omn d.tUM swe (ltt. n. news ow .m en, etc) A sea M ym must? 0 Yes 0 No If ,,Y-,". net d Ith:
Mr. PEPPER. Before that, you had interviewed with them?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, Sir.
Mr. PEPPER. Did you make a record of the interviews?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. Those records are in the files of the Immigration Service?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir, they are.
Mr. PEPPER. There has been no question in fact about language or anything ? You have had interpreters when you inquired of them about filling out this form, somebody who spoke their language helped them to fill that out?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. We have very outstanding interpreters, particularly one lady who was born and raised in the area and speaks the patois completely and fluently, that we speak through to these people.
Mr. PEPPER. I realize there might be some difficulty in doing so and I do not know what our Embassy can do over there but have you followed through into Haiti? A great many of these people have claimed on these forms that they were fleeing for their lives and seeking sanctuary under our laws. How many have we given sanctuary to?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGOER. Forty-six since the coming of the group that we are speaking of in the Miami area.
Air. PEPPER. You have verified that there seems to be a substantial justification of their claims for sanctuary, in the case of 46?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. They have been permitted to remain in this country?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. Were you able to get access into Haiti to see whether the others who made claims for sanctuary could not corroborate the evidence that they had given you on the claims they had made?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. We go to the Department of State for that kind of information, as a general rule.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Secretary, what has been the procedure inside Haiti to try to determine whether or not these claims were justified. Mr. LERs. Mr. Pepper, could I ask Chris Pappas from the Department of State, Humanitarian Affairs Office, to describe exactly what we do when we get the request ?
STATEMENT OF CHRIS PAPPAS, ACTING DEPUTY COORDINATOR
FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. PAPPAS. We are on the receiving end of the interviews and the material that the Immigration Services receives in Miami or in any other district on Haitians or any other nationality. The interview record. the statements of the individuals are sent to us. the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs.
We attempt to evaluate whether the individual is making a claim that he faces well-founded fearMr. PEPPER. You say "we"?
Mr. PAPPAS. "We," in our office. I have three case officers who work under me.
Mr. PEPPER. Where are your officers ?
Mr. PAPPAS. In the Department of State. Mr. PEPPER. In ~T ashington, D.C ?
MIr. PAPPAS. Yes.
Mr. PEPPER. You mean the forms that we were told about are sent to the State Department?
Mr. PAPPAS. That is right.
Mr. PEPPER. Then you evaluate them here.
Mr. PAPPAS. We look at them here. Our officers make a judgment first: Should they be referred to our Embassy in Haiti? Some of the events can be verified by our Embassy. We have a number of cases which have so been referred to our Embassy to attempt to verify the statements that the individuals make. The Embassy makes the check without reference to the Haitian Government.
Mr. PEPPER. YOU are saying that just looking at the face of the claim, it is obvious that that person is not entitled to sanctuary.
Mr. PAPPAS. No; each applicant may make a different statement. For example, we have some specific cases listed here in which the individual says he has come to the -United States to seek employment. Another may claim that his father was arrested or jailed but that he, himself, was never persecuted, was never arrested, that lie only fears to return to Haiti because he left illegally and lie feels that the authorities will persecute him when he returns.
Our knowledge has been in cases like these that the Haitian Government has not been persecuting people when they return or people who left illegally. We have had enough followup experience now: our Embassy follows many of the returnees. The Immigration Service in Miami is sending to our Embassy in Port-au-Prince and to the Department of State the names and flight numbers of those individuals who had requested political asylum and who are now being deported.
We have information on two groups of Haitians who returned from Guantanamo and from the Canal Zone, who returned to Haiti and after sort of cursory questioning by Haitian officials to determine if they had paid for their illegal departure or if there was a ring of people trying to smuggle them out, they were released.
My case officers look at each case. I read their opinion after that. W'e then send it to the Haitian desk. The desk officer reviews this information. We may set up an adversary proceeding within the Department if there is disagreement as to whether there is validity to the claim or not. We check out those cases about which we cannot make a clear determination with the Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Mr. PEPPER. May I ask about that category of cases ? I understand when these forms come up from Immigration, your office here makes an evaluation on the face of the claim to see, if everything that the individual says is true, if he would be entitled to sanctuary.
Then you refer it to your Haitian desk, those that make a prima facie justification, a showing that they had been arrested or they had in some way or another been persecuted or they had fear for their lives. What do you do with those cases ?
Mr. PAPPAS. When the individual makes a case which we consider valid, vwe recommend to the Immigration ServiceMr. PEPPER. Don't you send it for verification to Haiti, to the Embassy, to verify what he says in his claim?
~i~SPP-~-L--~-~-~- --tR\- - --
Mr. PAPPAs. We have our files in the Department of State. We check with the agencies here and those cases which have to be verified in Haiti, we do send to our Embassy.
Mr. PEPPER. What percentage of cases do you send to the Embassy and what does the Embassy do when it gets your referral?
Mr. PAPPAS. We probably send down about 10 to 15 percent of the cases that we receive to the Embassy for verification or for comments on the individual claims. These are where there are elements of doubt, where individuals make certain statements that we believe should be checked more thoroughly.
Mr. PEPPER. It is a little hard for me to get those figures reconciled. I suppose that the great majority of them would make a prima facie case on the face of their application. Maybe they do not. What percentage would you say on the face of their application make a prima facie case for sanctuary ?
Mr. SCIOENENBERGER. I do not know the percentage, Congressman; most of the people, a large percentage of them, make claims to economic hardship.
Mr. PEPPER. Are these people who fill out these forms advised before they put down their claim as to what they must show if they are to get sanctuary in the United States and are they made to understand that ?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Yes, sir.
I have talked to these people, myself, personally, in Miami in the middle of the night.
Mr. PEPPER. And notwithstanding that, they will put down that "I came over here to get a better job."
Mr. SCIIOENENBERGER. They will look you in the eye and say-I will say, "Why did you come to the United States ?"
Mr. PEPPER. Beg pardon.
Mr. SCHIOENENBERGER. I have stood in a roomful of them and asked, "Why did you come to the United States?"
"Because I had 10 children, I can only make a dollar a day. Please let me stay in your wonderful country where I can make a living." Then they will go on from there, a very high percentage of them.
Mr. PEPPER. What percentage of them would you say make that kind of statement ?
Mr. SCIIOENENBERGER. I do not have a percentage, Congressman, but more do than do not.
Mr. PEPPER. Do you make any decisions in Miami or do you send them to the State Department ?
Mr. SCIIOENENBERGER. The decisions in Miami are made by the district director in Miami.
Mr. PEPPER. You make your own decisions as to those that are entitled to sanctuary and those that you do not consider are entitled to sanctuary you send them up to the State Department ?
Mr. SCIOENENBERGER. Those and any doubtful ones.
Mr. PEPPER. Then you take a second look at them?
Mr. PAPPAS. That is correct, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. As to whether you think they are entitled to sanctuary ?
Mr. PAPPAS. That is right.
63-435 0 76 3
xMr. PEPPER. Some of them you find also on the face of them are not entitled to it, those where it is a question of fact, you send down to the Embassy then?
Mr. PAPPAS. We try to verify, yes, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. What does the Embassy do when your referrals are sent down to them to verify what would appear to be on its face a valid claim to sanctuary by an applicant ?
Mbr. PAPPAS. In some cases the Embassy, for example, may have one of their people talk to one of the relatives. They may check internal files to determine if an event which the individual claims he may have participated in. has it in fact occurred; this sort of thing. They also may give the Department an evaluation of the individual's overall claim, how does it strike them ? Does it appear to be valid ? There is a limit to verification. Somewhere along the line, somebody has to make a judgment in these cases.
Now, it may be that not all the material can always be corroborated. W*e have to make a judgment in some of the cases we receive from the Service. Some cases have been supplemented at a later date and are being supplemented all the time by additional material and we review the claims all over again. The Service refers the case back to us again if it does not sway them or change their minds. They refer the case back to us to review again and we do so.
Mr. PEPPER. Do you have enough personnel in the Embassy in Haiti to carry out these researches to make these inquiries that will give you a factual basis on which to make a decision ?
Mr. PAPPAS. If we had to check-I am speaking for the Bureau of Latin American Affairs-but if we had to check every individual case, no, sir, we do not have enough people.
Mr. PEPPER. How many people in the Embassy are available for that?
Mr. LUERS. The Embassy is quite small. There are about 30 people in the entire Embassy, not including the aid mission. I think there are six officers involved in consular affairs, which would be the part of the Embassy primarily concerned with verification of this type of case.
Mr. PEPPER. Only two people to work on this sort of thing?
Mr. LUERS. Consular officers and in some cases other Embassy personnel would be involved.
Mr. PEPPER. The consular officer?
Mr. LUERS. There are six consular officers.
STATEMENT OF TED HEAVNER, HEAD, OFFICE OF CARIBBEAN
AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. HEAVNER. Some of the other Embassy personnelMr. FASCELL. Excuse me. Would you identify yourself.
Mr. LUERS. This is Mr. Heavner, head of the Office of Caribbean Affairs of the Department of State.
Mr. FASCELL. Thank you.
Mr. HEAVNER. Up to and including the Ambassador, the entire Embassv has been involved in reviewing certain cases. On the day-to-day verification, it would be primarily the consular officers who would have to deal with them.
Mr. LERs. I would like to add that we are facing throughout the Caribbean and in Mexico and in areas where we do have a large illegal immigrationMr. PEPPER. Beg your pardon.
Mr. LnERs. In areas where we do have problems stemming from illegal migration in this country, we have a strain on our consular sections to verify this type of case, to work closely on the question of investigation. It is becoming a major stress throughout the hemisphere how we manage with the personnel we have to deal with the rapidly increasing problem of illegal migration. As I said this is not exclusively a Haitian problem. As a matter of fact, Haitians are only a very small percentage of the illegal immigrants coming into the United States.
Mr. PEPPER. Would you say that the procedures employed in verifying the claims of the Haitians are similar to those that you employ with respect to other aliens who claim sanctuary in the United States?
Mr. LERs. I would say that in the case of Haiti, there has probably evolved over the last several years, a more severe problem on claims of political asylum than in the case, for instance, of Mexico. In very few cases I know of do the Mexican illegal aliens claim political asylum; nor do those from the Dominican Republic nor from most of the Central American countries.
Why this is the case in Haiti, I am not sure. I want to stress here that we are not being defensive either about Haiti or about our procedures. We would like to devise the best possible method to be sure that individuals are treated fairly and justly in this country and that we follow United Nations standards in receiving refugees. If it comes out of these hearings that we have to improve our procedures, we will do so.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Secretary, the State Department knows better than any of us the character of the regime in Haiti. The head of the state, was it he or his father who proclaimed himself President-for-Life in the country ?
Mr. LERs. There has obviously been an authoritarian tradition in Haiti, not a democratic form of government.
Mr. PEPPER. In Mexico, I suppose it is fair to say that that is generally accepted as a democratic form of government. The President is elected, they have a Congress, of course, and I presume that human rights, civil rights, are reasonably and fairly protected there, whereas in Haiti with the kind of regime they have, it is so easy, where you stated in your statement that due process does not exist there, they do not have the protections that citizens have ordinarily. It would seem to me that maybe you would look with a little sympathy, I mean, give a little bit more inclination to be as sympathetic as you could properly to people from that kind of reime. It is like some of these authoritarian regimes, individual rights do not mean very much and the individuals' lives do not mean very much.
Now the church group here, Archbishop Carroll of the Catholic Diocese in Miami. has been deeply interested in this problem for a long time. He has been in constant contact with Reverend Cassidy and many of the churches in our area. The case of these Haitians has made a very strong appeal to our conscience. Yet we realize we cannot open
the doors of the United States to everybody who wants to come here. Half the world, half of many countries would come here. You do have to have some criteria. I think all of us in the interest of the church groups and others would want our authority to be positive that they have given every break, every benefit of the doubt to people fleeing from a totalitarian regime to our country and sanctuary, that you have given them every break that you possibly can under the law to give them in the determination of their status.
I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, to take so much time. Thank you very much.
There is one other thing I want to say. I know you referred in your statement to the amount of economic aid. My goodness alive, as many billions and hundreds of millions of dollars that we give in economic aid around the world to nations, here is a little nation right on our doorstep with one of the lowest standards of living in the world.
What is the per capita income in Haiti ?
Mr. LUERs. Less than $150 annually.
M1r. PEPPER. That is one of the lowest in the world. I think you said that $64 million that we gaveMr. LUERS. No, that was the total figure of other nations. Our bilateral aid program for next year will be around 16.7 million we hope.
Mr. PEPPER. There again I would certainly think, if there is any appeal to the conscience of this country to try to help people, it would be people like that who are right an our doorsteps here and we have occasion to know about.
STATEMENT OF IRA GOLLOBIN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Might I respond to some of the remarks made by Mr. Schoenenberger and the Commission on this question.
Mr. PEPPER. Whatever the Chairman says, of course.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Harrington, you want to inquire first ?
Mr. PEPPER. Did you finish your statement, Mr. Luers?
AMr. LUERS. I have one item I would like to enter into the record which is summary samples of the types of statements that we examine in the State Department, to give you an idea of how we can make judgments based on simple statements or the type of problems we have in inaking judgments-sample summary statements of applicants for refugee status. This document is called "Specific Cases of Asylum Applications Rejected."
Mr. PEPPER. Thank you very much.
Mr. FASCELL. These are selected cases by the Department?
Mr. LUERS. That is right.
This is a subjective selection to give you some feel of it. I would emphasize that these are summaries of our materials and our judgments, not complete documentations.
[The specific cases referred to follow :]
SPECIFIC CASES OF AsYLUM APPLICATIONS REJECTED
Mr. "X" said his father was arrested and jailed when he was young but released. He claims a cousin was also arrested. However, Mr. "X" does not
advance any reasons why he would be persecuted except that the authorities hate his family. Despite this, his two sisters and two brothers appear to be residing safely there.
Although Mr. "Y's" father may have been killed in 1967, Mr. "Y" himself lived in Haiti since that time without any major problems. He says that "they" tried to arrest him but that he went into hiding. We doubt he could have remained concealed for eight years if the Haitian Government had any interest in him.
Mr. "Z" fears return because of his illegal departure. This fear is not borne out by the facts as we know them. He also fears a Ton Ton Macoute with whom he vied for the affections of a woman, which is not a political matter.
Mr. "A" came to U.S. for economic reasons. He fears reprisals because of illegal departure which to our knowledge has not resulted in persecution in the past. The arrest of his father was not politically motivated. Mr. "A's" arrest was for running a lottery of some type, not for political reasons.
Mr. "B" claims a friend will kill him for personal reasons. He was arrested for unknown reasons but his mother apparently paid a fine and he was released. Date of arrest not specified.
Mr. "C" is only 17 years old. His mother apparently was evicted for owing money. No political motivation or reasons for leaving Haiti.
Mr. "D" claims his uncle was killed and his cousin arrested in Februaryboth for their political beliefs. He gives no further details. However, Mr. "D" was not arrested at that time. He claims arrest in May because his brother had a fight with a militia man and he aided his brother. He was released after one day. He appears non-political.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Gollobin, we will get back to you in just a second.
We want you to have the opportunity to respond. You understand, Mr. Secretary, that one of the complaints which has been made about the process is the six-line transmittal to the Department of State from the district office which the claimants allege is totally insufficient. That is one of the complaints that is being made.
Mr. LsERs. Right. I realize that.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Harrington.
Mr. HARRINGTON. I would like to follow the line of questioning that Congressman Pepper began earlier, which I think is interesting. You have indicated that your basic assessment, Mr. Luers, is that the problem prompting increased migration from Haiti to this country is essentially economic as opposed to severe instances of political repression. And if I am not being fair in that assessment, feel free to correct it. I am curious. Your last few pages deal heavily with the decreased interest in attempting to alleviate the conditions which prompted this migration, and Mr. Pepper began to discuss with you the obvious indicia that exists today in the hemisphere and globally to demonstrate the desperate nature of the Haitian situation.
You talked about $8 million being available and about expecting $16.7 million shortly. Does that include all forms of aid, military as well as economic, that you are referring to ?
Mr. LUEs. That does not include $200,000 that we provide in assistance, primarily for training their navy in search and rescue.
Mr. HARRINGTON. That is a direct grant ?
Mr. LUERS. That is grant-in-aid, primarily in the field of training and technical assistance.
Mr. HARRINGTON. IS there anything else ?
Mr. LUERs. There is nothing else in the way of military assistance. We have no assistance to the police force or other forces within Haiti other than their coast guard.
Mr. HARRINGTON. Where does Haiti fit in the framework of the hemisphere alone, on the basis of per capita income or per capita caloric intake? Could you give me a rough idea?
Mr. LUERS. In terms of caloric intake, of 129 countries evaluated in the world, Haiti is the 127th per capita caloric intake. Their per capita income is the lowest in the hemisphere. It is conceivable that we could end up in our bilateral aid efforts by applying the most resources to Haiti if we should decide to help the most seriously affected nations. There is however a serious question as to the capacity of a country like this to absorb large sums of aid. It is a slow process and it is going to be a slow process. It will require a great deal of time to develop literacy and the capacity to absorb increased capital.
Mr. HARRINGTON. A favorite theme of mine is what I am getting to. Approximately 80 percent of the total hemisphere food for peace assistance instead of going to countries like Haiti, is going to Chile this year. I am wondering whether or not that economic problems in Haiti are exacerbated when Chile receives a major, if not total, share of the food for peace assistance in a fashion reminiscent of what happened last year in Southeast Asia, if I may be permitted to editorialize. What are our country's efforts to alleviate those conditions, which you say are essentially economic ?
Mr. LuERs. We supplied $4.7 million last year in Public Law 480. We are increasing that this year. I think it is important here to give a little background to point out that we really broke off our aid program with the previous government of Haiti because of its extreme repressive character. As you know, it has been a slow process in rebuilding the type of relationship with Haiti today that really will assist the poor and spur development.
M'r. HARRINGTON. If I may interrupt, that is a similar pattern to the Chilean Government with similar aid of this kind. It did not take long at all to build that program to standards in a season or two's time.
Mr. LERS. In any case, we have tried in the case of Haiti to build slowly with the new government the type of relationship that would allow us both to work with them toward improving the lot of their people and to increase our humanitarian assistance to that nation. I do not think it appropriate at this time to get into a discussion of Chile. I must say I understand your point. I have been familiar with your views on this problem and it is a serious one that we face.
Mr. HARRINGTON. I got the impression for the moment, which may have fit into my subliminal desires, that Ed Brooke was the Ambassador to Haiti and not the Senator from Massachusetts. I assume you do have an Ambassador. who is it now ?
Mr. LUERS. Heyward Isham, a career Foreign Service Officer.
Mr. HARRINGTON. DO you have any other evaluation that you might offer, rather than the subjective evaluations of a Senator that I feel certainly credible, in making that referred-to estimate of the current situation in Haiti that would include United Nations or other standards as far as the existence or lack thereof of political repression? Have there been other groups, parlimanetrians, other United Nations affiliates to report on conditions in that country, in recent season that might be a somewhat less self-serving estimate of conditions?
Mr. LUERS. Let me just list a few. The United Nations Human Rights Commission so far as we know has shown very little interest in the Haitian situation. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission has interested itself in one or two cases.
Mr. HARRINGTON-. I am interested in, what they have concluded.
Mr. LUERS. We have the conclusions of Amnesty International, which we can make available. The most recent is the 1974-75 Amnesty International evaluation of the situation in Haiti, which is generalized and a rather severe condemnation of the situation within Haiti. I cited that Amnesty International report in my statement. We read these. We take them seriously. I respect Martin Ennals a great deal and I think he has done a great service to all of us in helping us keep our eyes on the issues. We spoke with him when he was here a month ago.
Our purpose of course is to try to get at the facts. In the case of Haiti. things have changed; though we cannot give a measure of how much. We think that the Amnesty International statement is important. Yet it is generalized and we are interested in specific. We are talking here about individual migrants. We are interested in improving the treatment of these migrants, finding a way to evaluate their specific claims rather than make generalized judgments on a society which has had a long tradition of authoritarian rule.
Mr. HARRINGTON. Just one further comment to General Chapman, Mr. Chairman, and I will desist. I am puzzled, General, at the conclusion to which you refer, in the middle paragraph on page 5, with regard to suicide, which I do not have a great deal of interest in terms of taking time to get into. Nevertheless did you conclude at that time the reason for suicide may very well have been efforts made to prolong the presence of the person in this country and he became despondent over the fact and it may have led to suicide ? It is not necessarily borne out by the facts you described. I say it because I would like the record to reflect my disagreement with that kind of conclusion based on your prior statement.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. LERs. Could I include in the record, Mr. Chairman, the World Survey of Torture, an Amnesty International document on Haiti.'
Mr. FASCELL. Without objection, we will certainly include it in the record since the issue has been raised and quotes made.
OK, Mr. Gollobin. we are back to you. You have the floor.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Might I comment on Congressman Harrington's remark ? I am sorry that I do not have it here but I request that there be included in the record the last testament of the man who committed suicide. Turenne Diville. That document will speak for itself. There was a big memorial service by the black community of Miami at the time it occurred. The last. testament is incorporated in this memorial service program.
AMr. FASCELL. Without objection. Mr. Gollobin, we will hold the record open until you can get us a copy of that and we shall be glad to include it in the record.
SThe 1973 Amnesty International Report on Torture appears in the appendix on p. 133.
[The program for funeral service referred to follows:]
PROGRAM FOR FUNERAL SERVICE OF HAITIAN REFUGEE TURENNE DVILLE,
SUBMITTED BY MR. GoLLoBIN, DATED MARCH 23, 1974
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR TURENNE DEVILLE, SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 1974, 2:30 P.M.,
FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH, MIAMI, FLA.
(Rev. J. E. Jenkins, Pastor Officiating, Lake Shore Mortuary, Officiating)
Testimony of the Deceased
I use to brave the Duvalier Macoutes, and fuss with them. I never intend to go out of Haiti. My patriotism did not allow me to do so. I did not want to swallow up my oath and deny my vows, before the other compatriot Haitians who made the same vow with me. This vow is this: We must never leave Haiti. We must see Duvalier's end.
But one day after having an altercation with one of the most powerful Macoutes (L. Dubin), he has jailed me for two months. I had to pay $50.00 to be freed from jail on temporary release. During the night they came to kill me. I escaped through a window and went to Nassau.
I thought that I would find freedom in Nassau. When I arrived in Nassau, I was deceived. No freedom-it was worse. There is no peace for a Haitian in Nassau, parallel life, what to do? I must find a place for security for my life. In Haiti, there is no justice. The poor must die prematurely, often asphyxiated in jail.
In Haiti's jail, there is no food, no water. One must drink his own urine, many stacked in one room; if sick no medicine, no doctors, no shower to take baths. Neither parents nor friends can come to visit you. Once there, one must be distorted. I can't go back. If the regime falls today, I'm ready to go back; otherwise, I'll not go back there. If the United States refuses to help me, send me to Africa.
Order of Service
Processional selection, Community Choir.
Selection, Community Choir.
Remarks (limit 5 minutes), selection, Community Choir.
Acknowledgement/presentations, Lake Shore Staff.
Deceased's testimony (read silently to soft music) solo, "My Living Shall Not Be in Vain," Bernard Robinson.
Eulogy, Rev. J. Mompremier.
Viewing of remains.
Pallbearers-Fellow Haitian Brothers
We the Black people of the Model City area and all concerned human beings of Dade County, do hereby declare that our Black Haitian Brother Turenne Deville, is now and forever, as long as there are concerned citizens in Dade County, he is a citizen of Dade County and our community.
Interment: Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Might I also add that of those detained in the county facilities, three of them did attempt to commit suicide. The attempt of one by the name of William Isidore did precipitate the strike of the 75 in Immokalee. Now there have been a number of statements made here, including the statement of General Chapman, that the Haitian is given every opportunity to present evidence, oral or otherwise, in support of his claim.
Mr. Schoenenberger has followed further in that direction. Now, I do think, and I say this with a background in the field, having practiced for 40 years in this field, that, as I know, the procedure is that especially for those who came in those early days, as the Miami Herald
has also reported, they got interviews that lasted on the average no more than 20 minutes. A good portion of that time goes for translation between Creole and English. A substantial portion of that time goes for biographical data. The political portion is, give or take, hardly more than 5 minutes.
I have seen some of the forms that were originally used and I doMr. FASCELL. YOU mean prior to the time this form was devised in 1974?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Yes. I believe there is a form called an asylum work sheet, if I am correct, and I have seen that form.
It is substantially less in its text than the present form. Be that as it may, these people are questioned, as I have said, without controverting your remarks, Mr. Chairman, sometimes at 2:30 a.m. and these questions are asked under those circumstances. On what basis does the Service conclude that their interrogation is entitled to reliability, assuming the complete competency of their interviewer? I, myself, as an attorney, with some credentials and recommended to them, find that I often have to establish a rapport which takes me well over an hour. This has also been the experience down in Miami by those interviewed through the National Council of Churches. It would seem to me, under the circumstances, that water does not rise higher than the source. The quality of the factual evidence on which the Service is proceeding is grossly deficient in its contents.
Transmittals which are made on the basis of this anemic interview suffer even further by attrition, being often compressed in transmittal telegrams which are sometimes grouped for the interviews of as many as 25, of five or six lines each. According to the Miami Herald, and also Deputy Director Joseph White, formerly in the Miami office, this takes five or six lines and a substantial portion of that is biographical. I ask, on what basis is the State Department, in good conscience, able to say to itself, we can make a judgment on the basis of such a meager transmittal? It would seem to me in good conscience, they would have to say to the Service, "W1e cannot decide it one way or the other on the basis of your transmittals." Yet they have proceeded in a great majority of the cases, it would appear in the vast majority of cases.
Now a number of these people have been reinterviewed. I, myself, have had a Miami case. The chap came to New York and he was reinterviewed in 1973 in New York, an extensive reinterview which the New York office permitted. It turned out that the interpreter he had had in Miami completely did not present in the record what the man said and the interpreter in New York insisted on a major revision of the hearing record. That was submitted to the State Department in September 1973. There has been no response received by the Service in New York as yet to that transmittal of the affidavit.
In addition, in Miami, with the more than 70 affidavits that have been submitted to the Miami office for their reconsideration of the denials, we have yet to hear further on their decision. Some of those were submitted as far back as July of 1974. It would appear, therefore, that when the additional affidavits were submitted, what was an accelerated process becomes one of indefinite nondecision. When the first ones were submitted, there was one case where it was submitted to State on a Friday and they had the answer in the Miami office on
a Monday. Evidently they worked on that group of cases one Saturday, and overnight they had the rejection. In all good conscience, Mr. Chairman, I think that is a scandal. I do think those records should be made available to this committee so that this committee can see for itself the original asylum interviews accorded these people. I say this with all due respect to the officers conducting these transactions, but I do think the fundamental feature has grown from the fact that they have made what I would say is a completely arbitrary distinction between those who might enter this country as stowaways and thereafter present themselves to the Service, and it could be years later, and they will receive complete "red carpet, due-process treatment," they will have an attorney at the outset. They will have an opportunity to present the evidence they wish, they will have a hearing before an immigration judge on their asylum claim. If that is denied, they will have an appeal from that denial of their asylum claim to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Now, not one of those four things I have mentioned is accorded a man who risked his life in coming here and claims asylum immediately on arrival. Why should a person be entitled to lesser due process rights who patently risked his life in coming here than those who might even be claiming it as an afterthought after entering this country, with no risk of life whatsoever?
On November 6, this year, some 55 entered from a 45-foot boat after being at sea 33 days, surviving at the end by drinking sea water and eating raw fish. Eleven of them were women, one pregnant. Two of them are boys. The men were immediately incarcerated, they are held on illegal entry charges, and the bond is at least $500. These people are, of course, completely penniless. As far as conducting interviews, to conduct these interviews, for instance, in the past you would have had to have gone to Immokalee or some of the distant places. Right now they are, by the Service's own statement in Port Isabel, Tex., some 2,000 miles .away from their 'attorney in Miami. With equal facility they could have sent them to Hawaii, Alaska and said to their attorneys, "Go visit them," or to their community to visit them there.
I challenge anyone to find any other category of persons facing the issue of life and death who ,are treated in such a manner as to deprive them of elementary due process rights, -as well .as the rights that are accorded them under the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. I do not see how we in good faith could, on the one hand, adhere to what President Johnson said in transmitting this, that this protocol constitutes a bill of rights, and those are his words, and yet on the other hand adopt procedures which would preclude 'any adequate determination of their asylum claims. It would seem to me the protocol is more honored in the breach than in the observance and that is the fundamental flaw here.
We would not have to come here if the Service felt this, if it equalized the procedure !and did not discriminate against these types of entrants ,as compared to those who were stowaways or whatever, who get all the rights which these people do not.
Mention has also been made here of the employment issue. Certainly, in general, if people 'are to have the right to 'appeal, they have to have the right to survive.
If the Protestant Churches in the Miami area were not paying to the tune of $2,500 a week, these rights would have been completely academic.
These people would either have had to go back to jail, try to steal or adopt some other desperate measure. In short, whatever their merits and regardless of consequences, they are put under coercive pressures which are not equivalently imposed on any other group.
Archbishop Carroll of Miami said in the Miami Herald, "I have a dog who receives better treatment than these Haitians."
The Archbishop is not given to exaggeration. If anything, it is the literal truth. I do think it behooves us, in good conscience, especially as we are sitting here so close to Thanksgiving and the meaning of that day and the first ones who found asylum here without the great risks the Haitians undergo, that we should give some substance to that tradition as well as to the laws. I submit, here and now, that there is a need to remedy -a complete lack of law enforcement of the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. I do not think the Haitians are coming here as mendicants for rights.
I do think, as Congressman Pepper said, they should receive every just and humane consideration, but I think foremost, what is apparent in these hearings is their failure to receive their legal rights. That is prime and foremost.
I think that is truly a national scandal. Even though it affects one single group, it cannot be considered anything but a fundamental derogation of the laws of the United States. If these records are fully before this committee, I think the situation will speak for itself.
Finally, as regards New York City, the General stated there are some 250,000 illegal Haitians in New York. I spoke to Mr. Kiley, in fact, just yesterday. I think there is a misunderstanding because the total number of Haitians in New York is in the area of 250,000 to 300,000. If you can count them, you can catch them; if you catch them, you can count them. I do not think the Service is now in a position of actually counting them at this point.
Mr. FASCELL. I am glad you reviewed some of the questions that you had on your own mind, Mr. Gollobin, and in your statement.
Mr. LUERs. Could I make one correction ? I am notified that an official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees visited Haiti in 1974 and his personal assessment, given to us orally and based on his brief visit there, parallels very closely the estimate we have given in our report-that the situation has improved under the current President.
M r. FASCELL. Mr. Secretary, if we can get a copy of that we would like to get it for the committee records. Of course, that gets to the crux of the matter. So far as this subcommittee is concerned we are not going to eliminate or overlook any issue. Primarily the hearing is on the question of human rights in Haiti. The oversight procedures with respect to the operation of the INS is a matter for another committee. But this committee will also look into that in relation to the broader issue under consideration.
Basically it is a question for the Judiciary Committee which should be addressed by them. We are happy, of course, to provide a forum by way of this committee to review those matters. We certainly are not a legislative committee on the subject. We have very little oversight responsibility over the Department. I don't want to mislead you. Whatever administrative or legal corrections you desire is a matter for the Department or the appropriate legislative committee.
Nevertheless, we are happy to have the record made so that we can get started somewhere. That was one of the reasons for this hearing. The primary thrust of the hearing is to determine, without going into the specifics of each case, which we obviously can't do, what the general situation is with respect to the human rights issue in Haiti. I would like to get back to that.
First of all, we have testimony on a report of Amnesty International for 1974-75, which I have not seen but I think it has been quoted in the testimony. Did you quote the report ?
MIr. LuERs. I quoted it.
Mr. FASCELL. That wa the generalized statement that they found that there were a great number of prisoners who were detained for long periods of time.
Mr. LUERS. There are basically two reports. One is the one I gave you on torture.1 There is another one which is of their Amnesty International Annual Report 1974-75,2 which does talk about the lack of due process which I would also like given to you for the record.
Mr. FASCELL. Without objection we will include it in the record.
I suppose Amnesty International got into the country without any trouble.
Mr. LUERs. No, I don't think they visited it at all.
Mr. FASCELL. Doesn't their report indicate on what they base their conclusion ?
Mr. LUERS. This is their annual report.
Mr. FASCELL. Maybe we should have the author of the report.
Mr. LUERS. This is their annual report.
Mr. FASCELL. We don t want conclusions based on hearsay.
Mr. LUERS. These are based on interviews and access outside of Haiti as far as I understand. Do you want me to read it ?
Mr. FASCELL. NO. We will obtain the full report for the committee.
Mr. Gollobin, do you have any idea that people can't get into Haiti to interview people?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I do think that is very much a problem. Amnesty, International had an earlier report where they did investigate the prisons. That was in 1973 ,and it is referred to in a memo where they noted how many people are languishing in those prisons for an extended time without ever being brought to trial. I do believe, 'and I have talked to some of the people in connection with Amnesty International, that they have difficulty now, because of having conducted that inquiry, in making an on-the-spot inquiry at this time. They do have internal resources and sources as the basis for their documenta-
'Excerpts appear in appendix on p. 133. 2 Excerpts appear in appendix on p. 133.
tion, which in some ways .are similar to what they have to rely on in Chile'and other countries.
Mir. FASCELL. They got into Chile.
AMr. GOLLOBIx. On the other hand the AFL-CIO testified last year before the Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the State Department Haiti appropriation. Howard McGuigan testified -as to the very severe lack of due process there and the midnight arrests and raids that are taking place there. I do think they have their own direct sources of information.
Mr. FASCELL. Let me see if I understand the situation.
The references to the lack of due process in Haiti are referred to as direct or indirect evidence that a detainee might wind up in prison. A deportee might wind up in prison if he goes back and because there is lack of due process that this in some way jeopardizes him?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Mr. Chairman, I think the fundamental thing is something else which I learned the hard way from interviewing these people in relationship to the Tontons Macoutes organization, which I understand has 30,000 members and is known technically as Volunteers for National Security, that is, they receive no pay from the Government. Their services are all to suppress dissent and their compensation is derived from being permitted to confiscate the property of working people and smaller middle-class strata without compensation, without paying for services, by taking land, merchandise, and so on.
The affidavits reflect this over and over again. They have the right to put people in jail, to torture them, to do away with them, and if there are protests, to charge the people with being enemies of the Government. In 1974 there was the Tontons Macoutes anniversary. The official newspaper in Port-au-Prince paid homage to them as "defenders of the palace." I quote their language. So, far from their being a declining phenomenon, I think they are a major one.
George Merlis of ABC filed Haiti for "Harry Reasoner's Report" earlier this year in March. It was shown. He has these films showing the Tontons Macoutes walking around with revolvers. As far as not being on the scene, they are a major factor.
The only difference is reflected in affidavit after affidavit. In not one of the 150 affidavits did we find the actions taking place in the daytime. It is true that public atrocities have declined. The nighttime ones have increased. The alleviation is far more apparent than real. How can we explain those who have come in 1975? A great number of these were interviewed and Reverend Cassidy referred to those at Immokalee. We have their affidavits. These people leaving in 1975 very graphically speak of the actions of the Tontons Macoutes and other repressive forces in Haiti.
Far from the thing having abated, I would say it has increased. How else can we explain Reverend Cassidy's experience; he has been in Florida for a number of years. Starting particularly in 1968, he does not know of any cases of these people coming on boats from 1968 to 1972. Now, Jean Claude Duvalier became President in 1971, declared President for life by his dying father, the former President. The peo-
ple began coming except for the coast guard group, in 1972 and have continued. If there is such an alleviation, why only after the former President died do you have these people risking their lives as they have?
As to the last group that came, a Monroe County nurse, who is certainly not involved in this, is quoted in the Miami Herald as saying these people must be strongly motivated to have ventured as they did and survived there for 33 days in the open ocean. Why else would people do such a thing ?
I could hardly conceive that we can see these people coming here, on the face of it, for anything short of saving their lives. It seems to me that when we go into these proceedings in depth, and the Service has put the whole onus on the facilities of the National Council of Churches to do this, how can these individuals possibly cope with this ? It is impossible for them with their own resources to get legal counsel, to get the material for affidavits, to get experts, all these things which others have. It is far from being even-steven as to their opportunities to have their day before the Service and for the Service to really do the job they are required to do under that law. It is no answer for the Service to say to us, "We will give you the opportunity to present whatever evidence you want." That is after they have made their own inadequate record, 'and charity and other community resources are called into play to try to do the job that wasn't done.
.Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Gollobin, let me interrupt you. I don't want to leave any unfortunate inferences in the record. You don't mean that there is something unusual or different about people who come to the United States from Haiti as to those who go to the Bahamas, Canada, Panama, Cuba, or wherever else they can go?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I am only talking of one restricted group, those who come by these boats.
Mr. FASCELL. I mean those other people are also refugees from Haiti, aren't they? I don't get your point.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I am talking of those who risk their lives on these boats.
Mr. FASCELL. If you are motivated to risk your life in a boat-and I certainly admire these people-it is obvious I would be willing to reach the conclusion they are strongly motivated. You might be strongy motivated to leave, but in no particular danger if you returned.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I think facts have to speak for themselves and the record developed on the merits.
Mr. FASCELL. I do not mean to be argumentative. You have had a long experience as a brilliant lawyer and dealing specifically in this area. Is a person who comes from Haiti as a refugee and goes to some other country in a different status than a refugee from Haiti who comes to the United. States? It is that simple.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I am not sure I follow your question. I am speaking that we have a protocol which requiresMr. FASCELL. I understand the legal problem we are getting to and I will address myself to it in a moment through questioning.
I am trying to determine whether in your judgment, legally or morally, you see a difference between a Haitian who winds up in
Canada, one who winds up in the United States, one who winds up in the Bahamas, or any other country? Mr. GoLLOBIN. They are entitled to help wherever they go. Mr. FASCELL. That is not the point. The point is their reason, their motivation for leaving.
Mr. GOLLOBiN. They might have various motivations for leaving. I am sure of that. I am not willing to say without inquiry they are all political refugees. That is a matter of factual determination.
Mr. FASCELL. I just wanted to be sure. I detected an inference from your statement that I did not want to leave uncorrected on the record.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I agree that facts have to be determined and on their merits, with a fair inquiry procedure, whether they are genuinely refugees or not.
Mr. FASCELL. Generally speaking, a statement with respect to the situation in Haiti with respect to due process is only one of a number of factors that will have to be considered.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Certainly. If they are factually refugees, then our law requires asylum.
AMr. FASCELL. I understand that. The next question that arises from that is the best way to determine that would be to interview those deportees who are now in Haiti and find out whether they are alive, well treated or in jail. I wonder who has done that.
AMr. LUERS. I entered into the record an article from a Canadian newspaper reporting independent Canadian followup. I indicated our embassy who had access to a number of returnees most recently, 25 people, who were returned to Haiti.
Mr. FASCELL. You mean the U.S. Government ?
Mr. LUERS. The U.S. Embassy interviewed them.
Mr. FASCELL. Contacted people and determined they were alive?
Mr. LERS. And they had not been harassed.
Mr. FASCELL. How long after their return to Haiti was that?
Mr. LUERs. We continue to do this. We get a list from the Immigration and Naturalization Service when they put deportees on the plane. We have a program of followup with individual members.
Mr. FASCELL. That is a continuing program.
Mr. LuERS. Right.
Mlr. FASCELL. Do I understand the Canadian Government has the same kind of program ?
Mr. LUERS. Yes. There was also a correspondent who went to interview 28 who were deported. This was la social worker who went to Haiti and interviewed 28 who had been deported from Oanada. I have entered the article in the record which indicates that none of them had experienced Government harassment.
Mr. FASCELL. The point is so far as the U.S. Government is concerned you are saying to the subcommittee that you have an ongoing program to determine the status of deportees ?
Mr. LUERS. Right. We have talked to the Government, to the Government of HaitiMr. FASCELL. How long has that program been going on 'and how many people have you actually talked to?
Mr. LUERS. I will have to give you that information, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FASCELL. We very much would like to have that.
[The information requested follows:]
EMBASSY FOLLOWeP ON HAITIANS DEPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES TO HAITI
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, D.C., December 12, 1975.
Hon. DANTE B. FASCELL,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Political and Military Affairs, Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. FASCELL: During my testimony before your committee on November 18, concerning human rights in Haiti and the situation of Haitian refugees in the United States, you asked about Embassy follow-up on Haitians deported from the United States to Haiti (page 84, line 15 of the stenographic transcript). The following is the information which you requested:
Because in the case of Haitians there have so far been very few deportationsin contrast to the large number of cases pending-our efforts to contact returnees and follow up on their situation in Haiti have been limited. Until recently our Embassy attempted to contact returned deportees only upon request from an interested party. In some cases the Embassy had no knowledge of the deportation action and therefore was not in a position to do any follow-up work.
In anticipation that large'numbers of Haitians may be deported as a result of actions now pending on hundreds of cases of Haitians still in the United States, the Embassy has now made an arrangement with the INS office in Miami to receive advance notice of deportations so that the processing of the returnees to Haiti can be witnessed by Embassy officers. Two such cases took place during the week of December 1, and we expect more in the future. Embassy officers are advising such returnees that the Embassy will try to keep in touch with them, and they are encouraged to keep in touch with the Embassy.
Canada has been deporting Haitians regularly for about two years, and the Canadian Embassy has consequently had a follow up procedure in force for some time. According to our information, numbers of Haitians deported from Canada have continued to keep in touch with the Canadian Embassy's immigration officer, and we have been told that these Canadian deportees have faced no reprisals after their return to Haiti.
In past, one example of U.S. Embassy follow up is the case of the 25 Haitians who were rescued on the high seas by a U.S. vessel in February 1974 and who were subsequently returned to Haiti. Embassy officers tracked down two of the returnees in March of last year; the returnees advised that all 25 had been quickly released, and none were subsequently troubled by the authorities. In another case, Embassy officers made a particular effort to locate the one deportee, among a group of 36 returned from the Canal Zone last August, who claimed political asylum. After considerable difficulty, he was located, and he assured Embassy officers that he had not faced any reprisals.
You also asked about the methods of the OAS Commission on Human Rights (page 86, line 1 of the stenographic transcript). As I understand it, the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights undertakes a general review of the situation in any country on a self-generating basis in the sense that the commission itself decides whether to undertake the review. However, such a decision would in all likelihood be premised on the fact that the commission had received a number of communications or complaints addressed to it by individuals or institutions. In this connection, there is enclosed an OAS pamphlet entitled "The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, What it is and how it functions". Questions and Answers 12 and 16 of this pamphlet are particularly pertinent in this context. You may wish to include the pamphlet in the record. I am returning separately the corrected stenographic transcript, along with a copy of this letter, to Ms. Jeanne Salvia as requested.
WILLIAM H. LUERS,
,Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Inter-American Affairs.
Mr. FASCELL. IS Haiti open to the press ?
Mr. LUERS. By and large, yes.
Mr. FASCELL. What does that mean, "by and large"?
Mr. LuERS. In individual cases, they do get a visa, you have to have a visa to go there. The government, like all governments, has the authority to refuse visas to peopleMr. GOLLOBIN. The Inter-American Press Association has condemned Haiti in that connection for their denial of newspaper rights and the way the press is conducted.
Mr. FASCELL. What was the basis of that report? Was that censorship or exclusion or both?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Both.
Mr. FASCELL. Thank you. I had read that somewhere but I forgot what that was.
Mr. LUERS. He himself cited the Reasoner report. Reasoner was allowed to go there and make a review of the situation there. There are certainly a number of correspondents that go there and write critical articles on Haiti.
Mr. FASCELL. The U.S. Commission on Human Rights recently completed a report with respect to Haiti; am I correct ?
Mr. LUERS. They have not done a thorough report on Haiti. They have examined two specific cases, I think they are the cases of Gaetjens .and Cassagne but they have not made an overall estimate of the human rights situation in Haiti.
Mr. FASCELL. What is the method by which the OAS Commission on Human Rights undertakes a general review of any country? Is it a self-generating proposition or is there a complaint filed ?
Mr. LUERS. I can't answer that. I think the Commission itself can, when the situation is considered bad enough to make a study, undertake studies. As you know, we are very interested in improving and increasing the activity of the Human Rights Commission but this is a Commission that is representative of all the countries in the hemisphere. It is not a unilateral mechanism of U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. FASCELL. I understand that. We don't have anything to say about it. We only pay the bills.
Mr. LUERs. Yes, 66 percent of it.
Mr. FASCELL. So, the OAS Human Rights Commission just looked at one specific case in Haiti and we don't have a report on that case.
Mr. LUERS. I think I might have it here. Can I get you that and send it to you? I
Mr. FASCELL. Yes.
Now, one other aspects of this matter. In another subcommittee of this committee we have had hearings on the question of Haiti in which we took considerable testimony, admittedly from our own people, meaning U.S. Gvernment officials. We didn't have refugees, political or economic or otherwise, testify. As I recall that testimony, and of course, the record will speak for itself on the issue, I believe your statement was, Mr. Secretary, that the secret police had been considerably lessened both in numbers and authority, and there was no consistent pattern of violation of human rights. The earlier testimony before this subcommittee also indicated, the best evidence we could get at the time, that there had been a major change in the operation of the secret police. Yet Mr. Gollobin's discussion on the sub1The OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission Reports, April 24, 1973, appear in appendix on pp. 135 and 136.
63-435 0 76 4
ject indicates that he believes there are a tremendous number operating mostly at night. Do they have uniforms, Mr. Gollobin ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. They have uniforms and they carry guns.
AMr. FASCELL. It is easy to identify them ?
M[r. GOLLOBIN. In the main, yes.
They show them riding in trucks with holsters and other photos of similar character.
MIr. FASCELL. Are they part of the police or is that the secret police ?
Mr. GoLLOBIN. They call them secret police. They have this uniform. They are not actually so secret. A number of them are not known and walk around in ordinary clothes. Father Raymond Gagnon, who was in Haiti from 1955 to June of this year, an American priest, made the statement on what lihe found there, and it has been incorporated as part of the submission. Father Gagnon characterizes the situation as one of continuing repression. He was in a rural area, which I think is more representative of the true situation than what you might see more openly in Port-Au-Prince.
Mr. FASCELL. I- don't mean to get specific and I don't want to bind anybody, but is there any evidence of secret operations at night with people disappearing ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. All the affidavits we have, without exception, practically deal with that one question.
AMr. FASCELL. Do they identify the people who have disappeared ?
Mr. GOLLoBIN. They identified people who disappeared. They identified their jailers. They give details. I think they do conform to State Department guidelines in their specificity as to what occurred.
Mr. FASCELL. HOW do we relate that kind of act to a deportee under the present law ? Does he have to be a member of an immediate family ? Does he have to be related to the deportee in any degree ? I don't know anything about how that applies. If X disappears in the middle of the night and Y is a deportee and X and Y are not related I am trying to find out what relationship there is with respect to the decision on Y as to whether that individual is considered a refugee.
MIr. GOLLOBIN. The affidavit deals not only with disappearance of the members of the family, like the one that was read, but also with what happens to the individual himself.
Mr. FASCELL. Before lihe left.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Yes, before he left, giving the place of detention, places of escape, jailers.
Mr. FASCELL. Physical 'abuse ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Physical abuse. There are full details.
Mr. FASCELL. The Department says that they have made a determination that some 46 Haitians have been declared to be political refugees. Is it your statement, I ,am trying to understand the position, that others likewise should have been considered political refugees and were not?
Mr. GolmonIN. Well, taking 150 ,affidavits as a reasonable sampling, if the vast majority of those, if not all, when we go into them in depth, show good cases, it would seem to me there is a pervasive and continuing miscarriage of justice reflected in the vast majority of these cases. That is a representative sample. I think that is the central answer to the problem.
If further affidavits were taken, which is beyond the resources of the National Council of Churches, a voluntary organization, they have to secure volunteers, they have to get volunteer translators, volunteer interviewers, it is a difficult operation.
Mr. FASCELL. I understand that. I think it is remarkable what the Council for Churches and other volunteers have done so far. Let us get back to the legal aspects of the complaint. What is it in terms of legal consideration you would want the U.S. Government to provide any individual who claims asylum ?
Mr. GoLLOBIN. I would want them to equalize their procedures and give to the person risking his life the same rights they give to the person who doesn't.
Mr. FASCELL. YOU are not advocating an attorney for everyone?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. No. The right to an attorney, the right to an immigration judge to review the asylum claim.
Mr. FASCELL. I am trying to see if there are any corrective measures that are reasonably possible or necessary. I know they are desirable. At what point in the process do you want that individual to have counsel, who appoints the counsel, and how does the counsel get paid?
Mr. GOLtOBIN. For instance, the Haitian refugees in Miami, thanks to the National Council of Churches, have local counsel that is representing them and has taken all the cases. But they would be able to take them at a proper point and on the basis where we wouldn't have had such a multiplicity of lawsuits and other things that have developed because of the original inadequate hearings. Mr. FASCELL. Let me ask you this as a matter of process. Assuming volunteer lawyers, if at the time the individual is detained at that moment taken into custody, lawyers were notified, would that meet the requirements of the process you suggest ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I think so. That would be a first step. Then a lot of the onus and burden that now falls entirely on the Service would be shared with an attorney and I think that would be a constructive step, the same as it is throughout the field of law, especially where there are such conditions of life and death involved.
Mr. FASCELL. Let me get back to that in a moment if you don't mind.
This 1-589 form, General, at the time that the individual fills that out where is he physically located and who is with him ?
Mr. CHAPMAN. Mr. Carmichael, the general counsel for the region, might describe the due process.
STATEMENT OF ANDREW J. CARMICHAEL, REGIONAL COUNSEL, NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. CARMICHAEL. If I understood the question correctly it is when this form is completed.
Mr. FASCELL. When 1-589 is handed to the detainee.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. This form might be completed at the place of detention if in fact he is detained.
Mr. FASCELL. What does that mean ? At the boat or on the highways ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Not necessarily at the boat.
Mr. FASCELL. In an automobile?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. NO, not in an automobile or in a vehicle but at a facility where he has been taken for detention. Mr. FASCELL. Give me a for instance. Mr. CARMICHAEL. Let us say, for example, at Immakolee. Mr. FASCELL. Fifty people come in on a boat. They land in the middle of the Florida Keys at 12 o'clock at night. They have been towed in. INS found out about them. They are now detained. When and where is this form made out ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Not -at that point but in an office, perhaps our own office or perhaps a detention facility.
Mr. FASCELL. Let us again be specific-you could take the detainee at the point of apprehension and move him either to Miami, Immakolee, Talahassee, Port Isabelle, New York, any place you want to move him because you are going to detain him. Wherever he goes at that point INS would start this process.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Yes. May I give an example.
In the group that arrived on November 6, some 56 in number, and 39 of which were taken to Immakolee for detention, the statements were taken from them in connection with these applications over the next weekend, not at the time they arrived or during the night but at the time when they had been here 2 or 3 days.
Mr. FASCELL. The facilities are selected some time after the detainee is apprehended.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is right.
Mr. FASCELL. Who is with him when the form is filled out?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Whichever group of officers is assigned to take the affidavits. It could be groups of inspectors or investigators of the service.
Mr. FASCELL. I do want to be specific. Do you have translators?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. We take interpreters wherever they are needed. They are part of the team.
Mr. FASCELL. They are part of the INS task force?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Yes.
Mr. FASCELL. What is it called, by the way ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. A team or detail.
Mr. FASCELL. Who is on that detail normally ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Officers and interpreters.
Mr. FASCELL. What is an officer ? A hearing officer?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. No, sir. It would be an investigative officer of the service or perhaps an immigration inspector.
Mr. FASCELL. His responsibility would be to interview the detainee?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is correct, sir.
Mr. FASCELL. Does he help him to fill out this form?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Yes, sir, he does.
Mr. FASCELL. Who fills in the blanks by hand or by typewriter, the detainee or officer ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It could be the officer.
Mr. FASCELL. If the officer fills it is the detainee required to sign it?
Mr. CARMICIIAEL. Yes.
Mr. FASCELL. If he can't read English what does lihe do?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. We use interpreters.
Mr. FASCELL. Do you detect any legal problem on that?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Not unless you attack the integrity of the officer. I am not willing to do that. If the officer has sincerely and honestly done his job I see no legal problem with that at this point. Mr. FASCELL. If the detainee at some subsequent point challenges the form what do you do ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. I think he is always entitled, as we have said throughout this afternoon, to submit other information.
Mr. FASCELL. That is not the point. Suppose he wants to challenge the original information as written down by the officer?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. He may challenge it if he wishes.
Mr. FASCELL. I am not questioning the integrity of the officer either but there is such a thing as human error.
AMr. CARMICHAEL. That is correct. He may do so. They have done so in many cases as Mr. Gollobin has pointed out.
Mr. FASCELL. What would be the problem if detainees were represented by counsel at that time? Since you obviously don't do it at the boat you have to do it anyway.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. I see no problem. I might point out to you that the statute guarantees to the alien the right to counsel at his own expense and counsel of his choice.
Mr. FASCELL. YOU are telling me INS throws no roadblocks and no objection to a detainee being represented immediately ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It does not.
Mr. FASCELL. Mr. Gollobin, I heard you draw a deep breath without looking at you. Do you want to comment on that ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I certainly do. I don't want to get into a hassle but it would be contrary to my experience and knowledge and that of the firm of Bierman, Sonnett, Beilay & Omen at Miami as well as others, that such representation has ever been accorded.
Mr. FASCELL. You have heard from the eminent general counsel of the Department now haven't you? Aren't you happy that that is the way the process is going to be?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I certainly am. I am glad to hear that.
Mr. FASCELL. IS there anything on this form that advises a detainee, or do you do it verbally, that he is entitled to counsel.
Mr. CARMICIAEL. I think we should begin with the proposition that this relates to all aliens whether in detention or not.
Mr. FASCELL. The law says he is entitled to counsel ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. He is entitled to counsel in exclusion or expulsion proceedings under the formal hearing process.
Mr. FASCELL. Are you telling me now that filing this form is not necessarily part of the exclusion proceedings until somebody makes the determination he is going to be excluded ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is right. First of all, you have to make that determination. If he is admissible then his application for asylum is beside the point.
Mr. FASCELL. In the determination of exclusion is there any obstacle in the law or process which prohibits going beyond the original determination?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Of inadmissibility ?
Mr. FASCELL. Yes, sir. You see, once you have decided to exclude, if the general law applies, as it does to most administrative law, you are
finished, you can go to court forever but the court can't overturn the decision without a showing of fraud, arbitrariness, caprice, et cetera. Mr. CARMICHAEL. Let me explain this and I think in answer to a remark Mr. Gollobin made. He was distressed about the absence of legal rights. He referred to administrative judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the courts. Each and every one of these applicants for admission and other aliens who are subject to deportation, once having obtained entry have been given hearings before immigration judges. An immigration inspector can admit someone but he cannot deny admission. He must refer him to an immigration judge.
Mr. FASCELL. In other words, if a person takes a position under the law that this form 1-589 is a petition by a detainee for determination of statusMr. CARMICHAEL. For asylum, not necessarily admissibility to the United States. Of course, each one of these aliens has in fact had hearings before immigration judges. Where they have chosen to do so, they have appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Mr. FASCELL. There is no obstacle in the case law, the board regulations or administrative procedure which prohibits a detainee or his lawyer from starting at the beginning?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. He can be present at the very outset.
Mr. FASCELL. That is not the point. From starting his case in the beginning and not at the point of determination.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Nothing in the case law. Is that your understanding, Mr. Gollobin ?
Mr. GoLLomBN. That is correct. But the statement made by the counsel, referring to the immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, bears on the question whether the man has a visa and passport which is obvious on primary inspection when the man arrives that he doesn't have it. Nothing else is reviewed by them.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Not by the immigration judge.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. You don't have any rights as regards the refugee question, is that right ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It is not a proper issue before the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. On the basis of your meager interview the whole question is settled.
Mr. FASCELL. I thought I was getting somewhere. The point is once a decision has been made, once a determination has been made for all practical purposes, appeals are meaningless. Is that the issue?
Mr. FASCELL. Refugee status.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. What determination is that ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. In exclusion proceedings to a greater degree than
Mr. FASCELL. Well, that would be helpful.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Let us take a case from the beginning, if you will. A District Director has considered a Haitian's application for asylum after having consulted with our colleagues in the Department of State. The District Director has now denied that claim to asylum in deportation proceedings. Now, this alien will go before an immigration judge
and he may renew his claim before the immigration judge and review evidence which has come in previously and submit additional evidence if he sees fit. Now, unlike the exclusion proceeding that is entirely a matter of record subject to the decision of the immigration judge, which I might add could be different from that of the District Director. That, too, is reviewable in toto, not just deportability but asylum or refugee status or relief from deportation before Board of Immigration Appeals and before the U.S. court of appeals. That can be turned around at any one of those stages where they feel the record was not adequate or the decision was not properly based on the record.
Mr. FAscELL. Does the question of refugee status reach court decision?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Sure. There are these cases now where the procedures of the Service are being challenged both in the district court and at the higher court level.
Mr. FASCELL. Is the question of fact with respect to the basis for the application reviewable?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I believe so, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It is reviewable.
Mr. FASCELL. He says it is. I want to be sure you two lawyers agree.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I certainly respect my colleague over there.
Mr. FASCELL. You don't have uny doubt? If you have any doubt, say so.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I believe they are clearly reviewable and they are being reviewed by the courts. I think they are being challenged because they have not conformed to certain procedures. As yet the Service has never produced for the inspection of the court the records on which they acted. The court has a very meager basis for determination, merely the conclusionary statement of the Service that they give these people-Mr. CARMICHAEL. I would disagree with that. In both the exclusion cases and the deportation cases the court has available to it the entire administrative record. We 'are remiss if we do not have that administrative record before the court.
Mr. FASCELL. Of what does it consist ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It is a record of proceeding which indicates what has taken place, what evidence was considered, what evidence was put in in rebuttal 'and the decision of the authority, whoever or wherever it may have been.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. May I suggest to my colleague that he peruse the exact record I have in my office which contains not one bit of an asylum file. You have not incorporated one scrap of that in that record, not one iota. You have kept it a dark secret from the court. When you argued the case in the district court you did not see fit to mention the existence of a protocol relating to the status of refugees. You let the district court decide that question without telling them there was such a law. May I ask if that is controverted ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Long before the case was decided by the court, the matter of protocol was put to rest. To 'a great extent in the Second Circuit Court and Third Circuit Court. The protocol goes to a simple proposition. The protocol applies to a refugee who is lawfully in the territory.
Mr. FASCELL. You say court decision.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. Absolutely.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Article 33 applies to anybody who is here unlawfully. It is not so, 32 is what you are quoting.
Mr. FASCELL. Gentlemen, I am not a judge, I am not going to try to settle a legal argument between lawyers. If there is a legal argument it is beyond me or this committee. That is going to have to be settled someplace else. There was a statement made by someone that a request had gone forward to State Department on a particular case and 2 years later they have not heard. Is INS concerned about that, because I ,am?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. May I speak to a general issue.
Mr. Gollobin spoke earlier of some 70 new affidavits or supplementary statements made and I think he indicated he had had no response from those. If I understand him correctly these relate to an exclusion case involving some 216 aliens. Sixty-nine of those persons did submit new affidavits. The remaining 147 have never come forward. The case was remanded to the district court.
Mr. FASCELL. I remember that in the testimony. I amn not concerned about that one. Just the one case where a request had gone forward to State Department on a particular case to respond and 2 years later there is no response.
Mr. Gollobin stated the matter. First of all, we had better have the name and you guys had better take a look.
MRr. GOLLOBIN. Gerard Latartue. It is a New York case at the present time.
Mr. FASCELL. Obviously, if in 2 years there is no answer something has gone wrong. It has been caught in the shredder or copy machine or something. Let us get back to the other issues if we can. As long as one of the major matters seems to pose no problem and there is no legal obstacle and the Department has no difficulty with allowing a lawyer to be available at the earliest possible opportunity, which would be at the facility at the time the INS team goes there to interrogate the detainees and get them to fill out 1-589 at which point it seems to me that their full legal rights would be amply protected. Does everybody agree on that ?
OK. Now, on the question of review and on matters coming up. I will have to draw scenarios, again I don't have the details that all of you do on this. I see nothing wrong with a two line summary, Mr. Gollobin, in some oases. In other cases I would see something wrong with a 200 page summary coming from the district office to the regional office and eventually going to State or however they do it.
If an individual makes a flat statement that he is unafraid, he has no fear of returning, the only reason he came to the United States, for example, is because he wanted to get away or he wanted to make some money or whatever he wanted to do, and if that is 'a one line statement, and it is accurate, what difference does it make if it is six lines or eight lines.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. We have found repeatedly that they got the scenario which corresponded to what the individual in his fear of authority thought. When they were questioned further they gave very, very precise details and some of the very same cases where the Service has
this kind of line "I came to get a job" appeared, it has been testified and I do not in any way impugn the integrity of the officers. I assume and I know some of them as a matter of fact, they are very competent; the fact is when they were questioned further it came out that they had a fear of authority and many other things took place.
The Service is now considering these affidavits seriously where they denied them previously.
Mr. FASCELL. I understand and I think they should. I think one would have to review the manner in which the affidavits were put together. You know, the problem, as I see it, is a question of at what point does the individual learn the difference, at what point does the detainee learn the difference between what it takes for him to be admitted as a political refugee and when it doesn't ? At what point and here again, I am not impugning the integrity of anybody, and at what point does he decide suddenly that was not the reason he came to the United States?
Mr. GoLoBIN. It is not a matter of deciding.
Mr. FASCELL. Somebody has to explain to him, however, that if he has been subject to torture and harassment and political repression that he might become a political refugee. On the other hand if he did not suffer any of those things he would not be a political refugee. Somebody has to tell him that.
Mr. GOLLI.B'. Sure; I think what you proposed about the attorney representation will be a major step forward.
Mr. FASCELL. Let me ask you another question. The same scenario. Now you have two lawyers there, an officer of the Department and lawyer representing the detainees. Would you let the facts flow or would you insist on consultation with your client ahead of time ?
AMr. GOLLOBIN. I would certainly insist on consultation ahead of time because this is the same thing as
Mr. FASCELL. How do you overcome the question that arises with respect to the individual being advised of his legal rights as he is entitled to do? Now that information he submits should that be under oath ?
MIr. GOLLOBIN. That the individual submits ?
Mr. FASCELL. Yes.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I think they are sworn.
Mr. FASCELL. Are these forms sworn to before an INS officer ?
AIr. GOLLOBIN. They are always in New York. At the end of it I might call your attention, Mr. Chairman, they referred to the submission of documents. "Do you have any documents you want to submit in support of your claim?" That obviously contemplates referral and opportunity to secure documents.
Mr. FASCELL. Right. Does the Department see any difficulty with that aspect of it ? The way it is right now it seems to me there is a unilateral decision being made by the detainee at the time he fills out his form. I don't see how you are going to overcome that unless, as we have agreed, it might be very much better to allow an attorney in at the time the form is being filled. That requires that somebody will have
to explain to that individual right then and there what is involved in the determination of status. Unless INS is now doing that with every individual then you have a very real legal question it seems to me. I don't know anything about case law but that is the way it appears to me on the face of it. Anyway I leave that for further discussion and review.
I hope we can make some improvement on at least that aspect of it. Now, let us go to the review process. I can understand the responsibility that is placed on State by having to go to the field in the case where there seems to be some question with respect to or some need to prove out an issue of fact. That goes to the issue it seems to me, that Mr. Gollobin raised. If you are going to do this then the question of what is transmitted becomes very important as does the manner in which it is transmitted and the depth of its transmittal. You can't do that if you have a summary coming up which is a three line summary on information which might be a form plus documents plus transcript, let us say. You can't do it, with a two line summary. I agree, it is very difficult. Yet you are asking a State Department officer to immediately determine whether you are going to refer something to the field. INS does not make that decision, am I correct ?
Mr. LUERS. Once we have it we make a judgment as to how we evaluate.
Mr. FASCELL. At what point does it come to State for that kind of evaluation? At what point does INS send it to State for some kind of evaluation?
Mr. CAaMrICHAEL. If we had a claim that we would clearly grant, assume a situation that is so clear, the District Director may grant it.
Mr. FASCELL. Right on the face of it.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. On the face of it.
Mr. FASCELL. Has that been done, Mr. Schoenenberger ?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. In the past; yes.
Mr. FASCELL. Have any of them involved Haitians by any chance?
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. I think that determination was made in regard to some Coast Guard people sometime back; I don't remember the year.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. If on the other hand the facts presented by the applicant create a doubt, we don't have the expertise perhaps to decide the question and it does raise doubts in our mind, it is at that point immediately upon an assessment of this application that it goes forward to the Department of State.
Mr. FASCELL. I would gather therefore, in this case involving Haitia ns that every file or whatever it is-is it the whole administrative file of the Department ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. It would be the complete statement of his application here.
Mr. FASCELL. It would be the 1-589 together with all the documents attached thereto that he submitted ?
Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is correct.
Mr. FASCELL. INS looks it over and they say we can't make a decision on this, we are going to send it to State for their evaluation.
Mr. CARMrICHAEL. Now, we will wait until such time as we have heard the views of the Department of State. Be it 30 days, be it 6 months, we will await the views of the Department of State.
Mr. FASCELL. This is not a factual determination so far as you are concerned. What comes back from State is an assessment. Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is right.
Mr. FASCELL. That is used as a final guide by INS ? Mr. CARMICHAEL. That is right.
Mr. FASCELL. Now, State gets the whole request for asylum and it goes through two officers.
Mr. LUEns. It goes to the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs which gives it a preliminary review based on documents.
Mr. PAPPAS. We draft the opinion, the judgment.
Mr. FASCELL. The judgment is made by the people in your office as to whether there is any fact which needs to be corroborated in the field.
Mr. PAPPAS. We may, for example, if we have doubts about the case. On most of the cases we write the original recommendation. We put it in a letter form, send it through the desk for its corroboration, for its check.
Mr. FASCELL. The desk officer just signs off on that. Is he just a funnel?
Mr. PAPPAS. Absolutely not.
Mr. FASCELL. Does he have independent judgment ?
Mr. LUERS. The desk officer is here.
Mr. FASCELL. I don't want to ask him. I wondered what the process is.
STATEMENT OF DAN STRASSER, COUNTRY OFFICER FOR HAITI, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. STRASSER. These come normally as fully drafted responses to INS and in many cases it is just a question of signing off, clearing and agreeing to the decision of the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs. However, we can also serve as a check to their opinions and in cases we will draft memorandums. If the case seems more difficult, it might be considered by more than myself and other officers in the Office of Caribbean Affairs.
Mr. FASCELL. Wait a minute. Right now we have a large number of files coming out of INS because they have not made any decision on any one of these, whatever the number is and I don't know what the number is. Say it is thousands. They go to the Office of the Bureau of Migration and Refugee Affairs. Every one of those thousand are reviewed by you. Does the desk officer also review 1,000 files?
Mr. STRASSER. Yes; I see them all.
Mr. FASCELL. I did not ask you that. I know you see them all. I see my files when they are stacked on my desk but I don't do anything with them. The issue is review. What action do you actually take?
Mr. STRASSER. They are all reviewed in detail. They are read to the last word.
Mr. FASCELL. YOU read them then?
Mr. STRASSER. Yes.
Mr. FASCELL. What is the purpose of that review at the country desk level?
Mr. STRASSER. The purpose is that very often all that is included in the file are the statements of the individual without any way of com-
paring that person's statement to the realities in Haiti as we know them or the actual facts of the situation in Haiti as we know them. This is a reasonable check. Very often you cannot corroborate everything that a person says, his personal experience, where he may have had a run in with an individual member of the police or something like that. We don't have personal information such as that.
AMr. FASCELL. Are you the last signoff before it goes back to INS?
Mr. STRASSER. No, Sir. It goes back to the Office of Refugees and Migration.
AMr. FASCELL. Now, what does that Office do with it?
Mr. PAPPAS. I review it and send it to the desk officer who reviews it. If he agrees with the opinion it comes back to my office and my supervisor, who is the Deputy Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, does the final review and signs the actual recommendation and it goes back to INS. At any point in the process, for example, we might, if we have a case which is clearly to us doubtful, we might refer it to the embassy. We may refer'the case without even writing a view back to the desk for its preliminary evaluation. The idea is to give the applicant a fair shake.
Mr. FASCELL. I understand. You went through this earlier in your testimony and I regret having to be repetitive. It is just simply for understanding 'and emphasis.
The next question is why wouldn't you send every application to the field for review ? If the issue is what are the facts why would you not send every case to the field ?
AMr. PAPPAS. One, I think we getMr. FASCELT. I know you will be swamped and it is an impossible administrative burden but aside from that, I don't understand on what basis you can say in one case, yes, there are the facts and in another case you say no, these are not the facts, we had better go and collect them or these might be the facts and we need corroboration.
Mr. PAPPAS. In many cases, some of the ones we cited hereMr. FASCELL. That is where you determine he is not entitled to any kind of consideration ?
Mr. LUERn. They gave it to us, and we have made that determination.
Mr. FASCELL. That is the case where clearly on the documentation he says there is nothing to check here, as far as he is concerned, the guy has made his own decision.
Mr. PAPPAS. This happens in the great majority of the cases.
Mr. FASCELL. All of those come to you anyway.
Mr. PAPPAS. Every one.
AMr. FASCELL. They all go back ?
Mr. PAPPAS. They all go back.
Mr. FASCELL. What is the trigger then? Give me an example again, if you don't mind, of the trigger that requires a decision by your examining officer or whatever his name is in the Department to go to the field?
Mr. STRASSER. In a great majority of cases there is a failure to citeMr. FAscELr,L. Why is the desk officer doing that ? He is two tiers up the line. I want to get down to the guy who first looks at it.
Mr. STRASSFR. It is usually done by the Office of Refugee and Immigration Affairs with my'concurrence.
Mr. FASCETL. Does your officer tell the desk officer, "I think they ought to go to the field" or don't you say anything 'about it?
Mr. PAPPAS. We refer to the desk officer. Any communication we send to the Embassy in Port-Au-Prince. We clear it with the desk officer.
Mr. FASCELL. He is a traffic controller. That indicates to me he makes a decision on what goes to the field. That means he has to decide. That is the way he read it.
Mr. PAPPAS. That is right.
Mr. STRASSER. My decision is critical.
Mr. FASCELL. In other words, he can't overrule your decision to go to the field or not to go to the field.
Mr. PAPPAS. We let the desk officer overrule our decision.
Mr. FASCELL. His decision is critical.
Mr. STmLSSER. There would be very few cases in which I would prevent them from sending an inquiry to the field unless I thought there was no-Mr. FASCELL. The point is that they request you, we would like to go to the field on this case, you say yes or no. So your review is critical. It also is final.
Mr. PAPPAS. One example of a case that may go to the field, is where an individual comes in -and says, "I belonged to such and such an organization in Haiti which was dedicated to doing thus -and so."
Mr. FASCELL. How about the other facts? That is what I am concerned about.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I think it would be important to know, in connection with affidavits which were submitted, the number of those cases sent to the field. Those involve reinterviews which on their face we thought presented substantial cases.
Mr. FASCELL. I think we can even go further than that. We can find out the number of all cases that have gone to the field since this thing started. Then we will have a pretty good idea what we 'are talking about.
Mr. STRASSER. In the last year it would not be more than 'about 10 or 15.
Mr. PAPPAS. I have a large number.
Mr. FASCELL. What we are talking about obviously is a decision process that involves -an individual where there are no guidelines, no law involved, and this makes it very difficult for him and everybody else if INS is bound by his decision. Obviously, that is the status of the law, is it, or is it just procedure? It is -a decision that is primarily political. I gather that is where the political input arises.
Mr. CARMICHAEL. I might point out in the statutory provisionthis is now an aside, sir, from the district directors consideration-but in the statutory provision for relief from deportability on these grounds the statutory burden is on the applicant, on the one who alleges these, to establish to the Attorney General's staff that these conditions exist and he would be subject to persecution.
Mr. FASCELL. In every case, 'as I understand this it boils down to one thing, what are the facts ? If you 'are not going to accept the applicant's facts-the minute he states facts it becomes 'a prima facie case, as I see it-does the burden shift legally under the case law ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I would submit, Mr. Chairman, the statutory standard is a well-founded one. When an individual submits an affidavit which is specific and detailed and I think the State Department guidelines are correct on that and are now embodied in the present form, the burden shifts to the Government to adequately check that out.
'Mr. FASCELL. Or accept it.
Mr. GoLLOBmN. Or accept it.
Mr. FASCELL. You are saying your view is that the burden now shifts. If he is going to be deported the burden is on the government the minute he files an application. I don't see it that way. I don't think that is the law.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I don't say when he submits 'an 'application. Submitting an application with facts which would indicate a well-founded fear. He does not have to show he would 'be persecuted to a certainty. He has to show a well-founded fear.
MAr. FASCELL. I fill this form out. I say if I go back I will be killed. That is pretty certain as far as my well-founded fear is concerned.
IMr. GOLLOBSN. I have a couple of cases here which the Department approved.
Mr. FASCELL. They might have been doing yours a favor.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I don't know. I submitted a file quite like that and it did have statements from government officials of the countries involved.
Mr. FAsCE. In other words, you are saying there is a capability of obtaining corroborating evidence so that you can make a rational judgment.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Given the time and so forth to do the job.
Mr. FASCELL. It might be good enough so that State would accept it on its face?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Yes.
Mir. FASCELL. Or even INS ?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. They let attorneys play a role in this which up to now, in essence, they have excluded.
Mr. FASCELL. I 'am surprised that private individuals have the capability of getting corroborating evidence from foreign countries that are repressive.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. There are newspaper articles and many other things.
Mr. FASCELL. Well, gentlemen, we have been very exhaustive I think on the record on this matter. I appreciate your cooperation. Is there anything else that anybody wants to say before we close the record, at least for this 'hearing ?
Reverend CAssIDY. I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity. I hope you will pursue it further with Chairman Eilberg's committee. We submitted a memo to him.
Mr. FASCELL. I will do the best I can in discussing the matter with them in terms of oversight if you want to bring administrative changes other than -what has been discussed on the record today. We have tried to make a very specific record it seems to me with respect to what it is exactly that volunteer lawyers and detainee groups would like to have in terms of procedural relief. I can't deal with the questions of law. I gather also, and this is the way I read the record anyway, that the National Council of Churches is satisfied with the
explanation made with respect to the removal of the detainees from Immokalee. This was not some cabal in the middle of the night. There was an actual problem there and there was a valid reason for moving them to Port Isabel in Texas, or do you still have a reservation about that?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. Speaking for myself on this, Mr. Chairman, I would have the following reservation. I have the reservation that people who are charged with merely administrative violations and not charged with violating the criminal laws of this country should be detained, if they are to be properly detained, in facilities that are not facilities for those under criminal charges and in facilities that permit them outdoor exercise and other things that are normal even in prison except those who are under maximum security conditions such as those charged with murder or the like. In the case of the Haitians when they were dispersed from Immokalee, leaving aside the food question, they were sent to prisons where they had no outdoor facilities at all. Even at Immokalee they were given a half hour every 2 weeks. Now this question did occur in the 1950'sMr. FASCELL. Excuse me. I thought that the testimony was that the commissioners of that county requested the Department to move those prisoners out of there immedaitely when they went on a hunger strike.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I am saying, MIr. ChairmanMr. FASCELL. They should never have been there in the first place?
Mr. GoLLOBIN. Correct. They should not be detained in such facilities.
Mr. FASCELL. Before we get to that one I want to be sure about the move to other facilities. Do you still have reservations about that or do you think they were justified in making the move?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. They had no choice. I agree this was an accommodation of the local county officials.
Mr. FASCELL. They should not have been in jail in the first place and they should have been in 'adequate facilities where they had proper food, exercise and all that.
Mr. GOLLOBIN. And of an administrative character. When they closed Ellis Island in New York in the 1950's and put some detainees in jails for criminals, it was the subject of a suit and other action and the Service did at that time decide that if they didn't have proper administrative facilities they weren't going to detain people in those for criminals. I think that should apply here. The people have not violated criminal law, they should not be detained as criminals.
Mr. FASCELL. You are not advocating the establishment of deportation camps'?
Mr. GOLLOBIN. I am advocating establishment of deportation facilities inasmuch as they cannot properly detain them in criminal facilities.
Mr. FASCELL. Does INS have any such facility ?
1Mr. SCHOENEN ERGER. Yes; Port Isabel.
Mr. FASCELL. You took them to an established INS facility. Is that the only one in the South ?
Mr. CHAPMAN. NO; We have three across the southern border. We have others elsewhere. El Paso, Tex., El Centro, Calif.
Mr. FASCELL. What are the established INS facilities that meet the criteria that Mr. Gollobin has laid down ?
Mr. SCHOENENBERE R. El Centro, Calif., El Paso, Tex., Port Isabel, Tex. There is one in New York.
Mr. FASCELL. Port Isabel, Tex., is the closest one to Florida.
Mr. SCHOENENBERGER. Right.
SMr. FASCELL. Anything else on the record, gentlemen? I will ask Chairman Fraser who chairs this subcommittee to hold this record open in the event you may want to add something or we have some other reason to continue the matter so that we don't consider this forum closed.
As far as the other issues are concerned we will have to see where that goes.
I want to thank you for your patience. I appreciate the cooperation of INS and State. I want to thank the counsel, volunteer counsel particularly, and Reverend Cassidy and Reverend Schauer for helping us not only to provide a forum but hopefully to answer some of the difficult questions involved in this matter. Thank you very much.
The subcommittee stands adjourned subject to call of the Chair.
[Whereupon, the subcommittee was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.]
LETTER ADDRESSED TO HON. WILLIAM ROGERS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1975, FRO M CONGRESSMAN DANTE B. FASCELL, REQUESTING A "SENIOR OFFICIAL" TO TESTIFY ON THE SUBJECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
Hon. WnIIAM ROGERS,
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, Department of State,
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I am writing to you on behalf of Congressman Donald M. Fraser whose Subcommittee on International Organizations is planning a hearing on human rights in Haiti and the situation with respect to Haitian refugees in the United States. The hearing date is Tuesday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m., in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The subcommittee would like to request that your office provide us with a senior official to testify on this subject. I would personally prefer to have you testify, however, it is my understanding that your deputy, Mr. William Luers is likely to be the Department's witness. We are also expecting General Leonard Chapman of the Immigration and .Naturalization Service to testify.
The hearing will focus on the two above mentioned subjects-the situation in Haiti with respect to human rights, and the handling of the Haitian refugee situation in the United States. Many of the Haitian refugees have requested political asylum and I understand most of the refugees have requested but were denied this status. Obviously, in reviewing these requests, an important variable is the Department's judgment of the human rights situation within Haiti. For this reason, I would appreciate it if your written statement would answer questions concerning the general situation in Haiti pertaining to human rights. May we have a legal and factual description of the following areas relating to human rights?
(a) The number of political prisoners in Haiti (by the term "political prisoners" I mean persons who have been detained, arrested or punished for their beliefs or opinions, but who have neither used nor advocated violence). How many of the political prisoners have been tried; how many convicted; and what have been their sentences?
(b) The length of time political prisoners are detained without being charged and tried for offenses. The access of lawyers and family to political prisoners during their period of detainment.
(c) To what extent have political prisoners experienced torture or other forms of mistreatment? What has the Government of Haiti done to prevent the practice of torture? How many persons have been convicted of practicing torture?
(d) The extent to which due process procedures are being followed in the arrest, detention and trial of political prisoners?
(e) Freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom of the press?
(f) The rights of trade unions?
(g) Freedom of peaceful assembly and association, including the right to form political parties?
Has the United States Government made representations to the Government of Haiti concerning human rights questions? What has been the response of the Government of Haiti?
I would also appreciate receiving an account of the process by which the applications for refugee status is reviewed. Are the applications for refugee status generally well substantiated? What record do you have of the treatment given to Haitians who have returned to Haiti?
The Haitian refugee situation is of special concern to me since many of them are situated in Miami. It is hoped that this hearing will thoroughly review the situation to ensure that the immigration laws are being fully and justly enforced. Your kind attention in this matter will be most appreciated.
DANTE B. FASCELL.
63-435 0 76 5
LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1975, ADDRESSED TO CONGRESSMAN DANTE
B. FASCELL, FROM HON. WILLIAM D. ROGERS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTER-AX1ERICAN AFFAIRS, IN RESPONSE TO THE NOVEmBER 7, 1975, LrrER
Hon. DANTE B. FASCELL,
House of Representatives,
DEAR MR. FASCELL: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of November 7 regarding the hearings on Haiti held on November 18 by the Subcommittee on International Organizations. I regret that previous obligations prevented me from testifying, and I do greatly appreciate the attention you and the other Members extended to Mr. Luers. I understand from Mr. Luers that the Subcommittee also requested certain information for the record, which we are sending to your staff shortly.
I hope that we have been helpful to the Subcommittee on this matter. We are, of course, ready to provide any further assistance which you may require.
With best wishes,
WILLIAM D. ROGERs,
Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM LmH AN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Chairman: I would like to thank you for holding these hearings and for inviting me to be present and to submit a statement for the record.
The problem that has been brought to the attention of this subcommittee is a most serious one. The situation of the natives of Haiti who are seeking asylum in the United States is one that can no longer be ignored or allowed to go unresolved.
Serious allegations as to whether due process of the law is being exercised, charges regarding the welfare of the Haitians who have been incarcerated in prison, and charges that the Immigration and Naturalization Service has acted hastily in making its decisions regarding the refugees have necessitated these hearings.
In holding this hearing, the purpose of which I hope will be to provide a forum for the beginning of a review of this entire situation, we must not forget that we are dealing with human lives. We must act in a manner that is humanitarian while insuring that the law is upheld.
It is my hope that these discussions today will lead to a full review of this case by the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and International Law of the Judiciary Committee.
REPORT OF THE FACT-FINDING TASK FORCE ON THE HAITIAN SITUATION
IN TIHE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO ACTION ADOPTED AT THE FEBRUARY 28, 1974, MEETING
The Fact-Finding Task Force on the Situation of the Haitian in the United States present this report to you pursuant to the action adopted at the February 28, 1974 Governing Board meeting and recorded in the Resolution in Support of Haitian Refugees, Item number four. (Appendum No. 1).
Appended to this report, the reader will find a variety of documents that bear upon the current status of the Haitian refugees in the United States.
On December 12, 1972, a .group of 65 Haitians, who survived a 19-day open ocean trip in a battered sailboat, were washed ashore in Pompano Beach, Florida. They asked for political asylum, claiming they could no longer live under the government of Haitian President Jean Claude Duvalier.
A group of Black Church leaders and civic organizations rallied to their assistance and began raising money for a legal defense fund. The Haitians were released on their own recognizance to Church World Service.
The administrators of the defense fund retained Donald I. Bierman and Neal R. Sonnett of Bierman & Sonnett Law Firm, in Miami, to represent the Haitians and Immigration hearings were begun for a large number of them.
By June 1, 1973, approximately 135 additional refugees had arrived. Through the efforts of the minister, the Rev. James Jenkins, and the Associate Minister, the Rev. Jacque Mompremier, of the Friendship Baptist Church, 740 N.W. 58 Street, Miami, Fla. and the Baptist Ministers Council in Miami, a permanent Haitian Refugee Center was established at the church. In addition to an information and aid service open 14 hours daily, regular meetings of the Haitians and their attorneys were held each Saturday. (See History of Center, Appendum No. 2). The Center accepted responsibility for 115 Haitians which included three children.'
In the period since the first group arrived to the present, 924' men, women and children have reportedly entered the United States, chiefly in Florida, in small boats; they asked for asylum in the United States and, with a few exceptions, not granted asylum.
These persons were taken into custody, questioned and now faced with the charge of illegal entry into the United States. Each of these persons is subject to deportation pending the outcome of the Court's ruling on their requests for political asylum.
One hundred twenty (120)' of these men and women are imprisoned in Miami and Immokalee, Florida, and in Port Isabel, Texas. Bond for each is set at five hundred dollars ($500).
The Office of Immigration of the National Council of Churches' Church World Service (DOM) and member communions, chiefly the United Methodists and the United Presbyterians, have made grants for the legal defense of and posting of bond for the detained Haitians.
REPORT OF THE FACT-FINDING TASK FORCE ON THE HAITIAN SITUATION IN THE UNITED STATES
In accordance with the February 28, 1974 Governing Board Resolution in Support of Haitian Refugees, Dr. Sterling Cary issued an invitation to religious leaders, denominational executives and concerned citizens to participate on a Fact-Finding Task Force on the Haitian Situation in
1 INS Statistics.
Nine persons accepted the invitation and the complete list of Task Force members follows this section on the Report. Several of those who were invited but unable to attend offered their support and endorsement of the work of the Task Force.
A pre-meeting Briefing, chaired by the Rev. August Vanden Bosche, Southeastern Representative, Division of Church and Society, was held on the evening of May 20, 1974. The Task Force members were thoroughly briefed on the background situation of the Haitians who are seeking asylum in the United States by Staff Resource Persons and Consultants to the Task Force.'
The Task Force members indicated that it was essential for them to be in contact with the Haitian Refugees who were in detention (11 of whom were women) in the Miami City Jail and in the Dade County Stockade. Permission was received from local officials for small teams to visit these institutions on the following day, May 21, for the purpose of interviewing persons in detention, with the aid of interpreters. In preparation, the Task Force members were provided sample questionnaires drawn up by an Immigration lawyer, the legal consultant to the Task Force, Mr. Ira Gollobin. The questionnaire covered the basic points on which information was to be elicited from the detainees.
On May 21, 1974, at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in Miami, Florida, the Division of Church and Society, in cooperation with the Office of Immigration of Church World Service (DOM), the Commission on Justice, Liberation and Human Fulfillment, the Commission on Faith and Order, the Washington Office and the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, convened the Task Force to hold hearings with Haitian refugees in detention, free-on-bail, their attorneys, local support group representatives and government officials. The National Task Force was joined by members of the local interdenominational task force.
The Task Force divided into three teams for the various visits, the majority of the members remaining in the Conference Room at the Dupont Hotel for an extensive period of public interviews with a group of 18 refugees who were in the Miami area. Questions were directed by Dr. Charles Cobb.
The Team which visited the women in the Miami City Jail was headed by Sister Luke Tobin; the team visiting the Stockade by Father Antoine Andrien.
During the afternoon, attorneys for the Haitians and local and regional immigration officials made presentation and answered questions posed by the National and local Task Force members and representatives of the Ministerial Fellowship of the Palm Beaches. This latter group presented a signed petition and requested the Task Force's guidance in its utilization.
Note: In preparation for the Task Force meetings, the Staff Resource Persons and Consultant compiled an extensive list of materials and subsequently distributed packets of these materials to Task Force members. A partial list of items in the packet include:
1. Legal Memorandum (copy follows page 8).
2. The Amendment of Immigration and Nationality Act, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 93rd Congress, 1st Session.
3. Bill S. 2643 to revise the Immigration and Nationality Act, introduced in the Senate of the U.S., November 2, 1973, by Senator E. Kennedy.
4. History of Conditions in Haiti Since 1971 and packet of information prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee to Aid Haitian Refugees.
5. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: United Nations-1968--Article 32.
6. Department of State: General Policy for Dealing with Requests for Asylum by Foreign Nationals-January 4, 1972.
7. Information Packet from Haitian Refugee Information Center, Miami.
8. Correspondence from Immigration and Naturalization Service stating their official position.
9. Information Packet from the American Committee for the Protection of Foreign Born, New York City.
10. Amnesty Internation, March 1, 1973 Statement on the Haitians.
2 Appended to this Introductory Section are lists of Task Force, Staff Resource Persons, Consultants, and Supporters.
11. Newspaper clippings from "The Miami Herald," "The New York Times," "Miami Times," "Miami News," and articles from several publications.
12. Text of Senator Mark O. Hatfield's intervention to the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee against aid to the Haitian Regime of the Duvaliers as recorded in The Congressional Record, Senate, published December 17, 1973.
TASK FORCE MEMBERS
The Rev. Albert Chew, Assistant Corresponding Secretary, The National Baptist Convention of America, 2833 North Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76106; representing: The Rev. Robert Wilson, The National Baptist Convention of America.
Dr. Charles Cobb, Executive Director, Commission for Racial Justice, United Church of Christ, 287 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10010.
The Rev. Alfred Johnson, Episcopal Mission Society, 38 Bleeker Street, New York, N.Y.; representing: Bishop Paul Moore, New York Diocese, The Episcopal Church, Cathedral Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10025.
Mr. Joseph Leo, Editor, Haiti Observateur, 200 West 72nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10023.
Ms. Yvonne Price, Executive Assistant, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 2027 Massachusetts Avenue, .N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036'; representing: Clarence M. Mitchell, Legislative Chairperson, Leadership Conference on Civil, Rights, 2027 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Mrs. Marie Portier, Haitian Support Committee, 3131 N.W. 57 Street, Miami, Fla.
Bishop Hubert N. Robinson, President, Council of Bishops, African Methodist Episcopal Church and Resident Bishop, State of Florida and the Bahama Islands, 915 Old Grove Mannor, Jacksonville, Fla. 32207. S
The Rev. Herbert Skeete, Vice-President, National Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, 2190 Seventh Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10027.
Sister Luke Tobin, Director, Citizen Action, Church Women United, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. 10027.
STAFF RESOURCE PERSONS AND CONSULTANTS TO THE TASK FORCE
1. Ackerman, David M.-Associate Director, Washington Office.
2. Adrien, Father Antoine-Pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.
3. Cassidy, Jack-Staff for Program Development, Christian Community Service, Miami, Fla.
4. Gollobin, Ira-General Counsel, American Committee for Protection of the Foreign Born.
5. Hamilton, James A.-Assistant General Secretary, Washington Office.'
6. Jenkins, James E.-Director, Haitian Refugee Center, Miami, Fla.
7. Lara-Braud, Jorge-Assistant General Secretary, Faith and Order.'
8. LaRusso, Sophia-Associate Coordinator, Unit on Church and Race, Program Agency, UPCUSA.'
9. Moore, Marilyn-Assistant Director, Commission for Racial Justice, United Church of Christ.'
10. Mootoo, Olga-Executive Assistant, Division of Church and Society, NCC.
11. Ramos, Jovelino-Director, Commission on Justice, Liberation and Human Fullfilment, NCC.'
12. Schauer, John-Director, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service, DOM, NCC.
13. Vanden Bosche, August-Southeastern Field Representative, DCS, NCC.
14. Walker, Lucius-Associate General Secretary, Division of Church and Society, NCC.'
a Did not attend Miami session.
Did not attend Task Force meeting in Miami and Washington, D.C.
LOCAL HAITIAN TASK FORCE-MIAMI, MAY 21, 1974
Name Address Representing
James R. Skiphenson.-------.---------------. 3360 West Flagler St., Miami CCSA.
Rev. Hudford Johnson.--------------------- 1328 NW. 3d Ave----.-------. St. John's Baptist, Miami.
Benjamin Brown.~._.------------------------ 3149 McDonald St.--------- South Central Manpower.
S. M. Peck .---------------------------. 1370 Sixth St.-----.-------. West Palm Beach, Fla.
Elder F. Audain--------------.-----. 1245 Lynne St., Baldwin, N.Y__ Wesbury SIA, New York.
Martin Conze.------.-------.------------.--. 5907 NW. 2d Ave., Edison CIS, Department of Dade County,
Center. Manager's Office.
Rev. Isaac Jimsin. . 5023 NW. 1st Ave -. Missionary Out Reach. Sue Sullivan------.----.--.------------------- 100 East 4th St., Miami.-. YWCA.
Morrell S. Robinson ----------.--.--.---.------. 1800 SW. 15th St., Miami. United Methodist Church, Urban
William A. Jones.------------------------ 2031 NW. 27th St., Miami Allopattah United Methodist
Irvin Elligan---.------------------------ 4300 NW 12th Ave., Miami. PCUS and New Cov. Pres.
Rev. Arthur R. Crowell.--------------. ------. 1342 Palm Beach Lake. Trinity United Methodist Church.
Robert L. Thompson ----------.---.---------. 7531 SW. 133d St.---. South Presby. Excsr.
Rev. E. M. Blocker.--.-----------.---------. 514 20th St., West Palm Beach, St. Paul AME Church.
Desir Adperlee------------.--.----.--------153 Nell St., Fla .----.----.---- Ginette Louis.
Pat Brueuelas --.------.------------------. 4542 SW. 128th St .---.---- YWCA.
Bettye Wiggs .-----------. ----------------100 SE. 4th St., Maimi, Fla. YWCA.
Miria Holder.---------.--.---------------- 100 SE. 4th St., Miami, Fla YWCA.
Emma Greenfield--.--.--.------.------------. 500 Granada Blvd., Miami YWCA.
Rev. William H. Butler -----.----.------------1450 NW. 74th St., Miami Kelly's Chapel UM, pastor.
PERSONS UNABLE TO ATTEND THE FACT-FINDING MEETINGS BUT WHO WISH TO ENDORSE THE WORK OF THE GROUP
1. Clark, Mr. Ramsey-Former Attorney General.
2. Cardinal Cooke, His Eminence Terance-New York Archdiocese.
3. Ennis, Mr. Edward J.-President of American Civil Liberties Union and Chairperson of the American Immigration and Citizenship Conference.
4. Gorman, Mr. Patrick-Secretary-Treasurer, Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of America.
5. Height, Ms. 'Dorothy I.-National President, National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
6. Hoggard, Bishop Clinton-African Methodist Episcopal Zion.
7. Jackson, The Rev. J. H.-President, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.
8. McDowell, Kenneth-Church of the Brethren.
9. Meany, Mr. George--President, AFL-CIO.
10. Moss, Dr. Robert--President, United Church of Christ.
11. Reyes, Abraham-Ad Hoc Committee to Aid Haitian Refugees, New York City.
A. TASK FORCE HEARINGS AT DUPONT PLAZA HOTEL, MIAMI, FLA.-MAY 31, 1974
1. Prehearings session
Members of the Ministerial Fellowship of the Palm Beaches were present during the pre-hearings session of the Task Force and presented a signed petition (128 signatures) and requested the guidance of the Task Force in the effective utilization of the petition. The group concurred that copies would be delivered to the Congressional Black Caucus and the original should be delivered, at a later date, with other petitions to Senator Kennedy and other legislators. The text of the petition reads:
The Ministerial Fellowship of the Palm Beaches unanimously petitions the leadership of our national government that due process under Article 32 of the United Nations Protocol on the Status of Refugees be immediately accorded the Haitian Refugees presently incarcerated in this country. We expect a prompt account of what is being done.
As leaders of the religious community of the Palm Beaches, we resolve to inform our congregations of the sad plight of the Haitian Refugees in our state and to urge their support, morally and financially, in gaining due process for these refugees.
The Ministerial Fellowship has given $200.00 to the support of the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami to be used at its discretion.
Those in accord with this petition may sign below:
Accordingly, the Rev. Alfred Johnson shared with the Task Force the Resolution which was adopted without amendment at the 196th Convention of the Diocese of New York of the Episcopal Church, May 11, 1974. The Resolution reads:
Whereas, an estimated 400 Haitian citizens have fled from Haiti and are now detained in Florida, some in jail, some out on parole, and
Whereas, these people are faced with imminent peril of deportation back to Haiti which for many means physical torture and others execution, and
Whereas, the United States Government has been unwilling to grant the status of political refugees to these people, therefor be it
XXII. Resolved, That the Secretary of Convention of the Diocese of New York express to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General and Members of Congress from the New York area our urgent request that these persons presently detained be granted refuge status and permitted to remain in the United States.
2. Interviews with refugees
The Task Force separated into three teams and with the aid of interpreters questioned Haitian parolees and those in detention at the Miami City Jail (10 women) and at the Dade County Stockade (1 man). The parolees were 18 men and women paroled pending court appeal of their asylum request denial. (A sample questionnaire and responses are appended, #3)
Seven of the Haitians detained in the Stockade had been moved over 100 miles away at 3:00 a.m., five days before; similarly, three others were moved at 9:00 a.m., on May 21, just two hours before the Task Force members arrived at the Stockade.
The questioning of the 18 parolees in the conference room at the Dupont Hotel was tape-recorded and witnessed by over 30 persons from the local Miami and other Florida communities. The refugees gave full details of persecution, torture, imprisonment, murder and brutal attacks by Tonton-Macoutes, the paralegal forces of the Duvalier regime, and showed scars from severe wounds. Following are excerpts from some of these statements:
Guy Leroy-The MIicoutes forced Leroy to join the police force and then required him to arrest his own father, who was killed a few days later. Afraid for his life after he protested, Leroy fled the country.
Jeannette Louis-The Macoutes killed her father on the main street of PortO-Prince. She was thereafter arrested by them and she showed scars on her face of wounds received on being beaten. After her release, the Macoutes, came to her house, and she escaped and fled Haiti by sailboat.
Some direct quotes were:
Claude Charles-"May 1970, I was put in the trunk of a car and driven around. My cousin, Andre Pierre, died of asphyxiation."
Fritz Bythol--"father arrested in June, 1970, then disappeared, never returned home." "after my escape from Haiti, mother Mrs. Benoit Bythol was beaten in Port-OwPrince."
Iranie Fleuranvil-"had twenty pounds of rice and some water for all 41 persons in the boat. Had no compass or chart."
The refugees described how, fearing torture and death, they risked their lives in the overloaded sailboats, taking limited food and water supplies, and fled Haiti, not knowing where they would land.
2. Conference with Immigration and Naturalization Service Oficials
The Task Force met in the afternoon on May 21, with the following persons:
Mr. Gene Kessler, Deputy Regional Commissioner, Immigration and Naturaliization Service, Richmond.
Mr. Joseph White, Assistant District Director, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Miami.
Mr. Donald Bierman, Co-Counsel with Neal Sonnett of Miami for more than 200 Haitian refugees.
Messrs Kessler and White presented to the group the procedures and finding of the INS. In the presentation and in the question/answer period which followed the following INS position was stated: (For full report on INS position, see Appendum #4)
The United States is signatory of the United Nations Protocol on the Status of Refugees and committed to granting asylum to persons who would be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or menmbership in a particular social group if they would return to their country. (Full text of Articles 1, 32 and 33 in Legal Memo).
The Haitians who have requested asylum have had their cases carefully considered by the District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at Miami, Florida, and the Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs of the Department of State has been usually consulted on the validity of the requests.
The same consideration was accorded these cases as is accorded an application for asylum by a national of any other country.
While a few of the Haitians have substantiated their claims and have been granted asylum, the vast majority have been found to have left Haiti for economic rather than political reasons. Since such persons are properly classified as intending immigrants rather than refugees or political asylees and, as such, should apply through regular channels for visas to be admitted to the U.S., the requests were not granted.
Any one of them who feels that he or she has additional evidence which he/she would like to have considered may request the District Director to reconsider his/her case.
A bond of $500.00 would be required for the release of each detained Haitian and Exclusion proceedings, pending the resolution of the Court cases, would continue.
4. Conference with the attorney for the Haitians
Mr. Bierman of Bierman and Sonnett, the Miami Law Firm handling the Haitian Refugee cases reviewed arguments which are now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, based on Article 32 of the Protocol. (Article 32 had not been presented in the original argumentation before the Circuit Court and a request has been made of the Appellate Court to include the provisions of the Convention and Protocol for the Status of Refugees as a part of their argumentation). (See Appendum #5).
Mr. Bierman identified as a crucial need the lack of a full-time attorney to work with the refugees.
Refuting some of the statements made earlier by INS officials, Mr. Bierman pointed out that 90% of those released without bond to the Haitian Refugee Center had appeared whenever required. He also related one occasion when, at 2:00 A.M., on a Friday, 38 refugees were interviewed by immigration authorities in less than three hours and their asylum requests were denied. The data on the 38 were transmitted to the State Department, which by the following afternoon (Saturday) also responded negatively to the refugees request for asylum. The status of these 38 persons as of the meeting of the Task Force was that the case remains before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Bierman in replying to questions raised regarding the dissimilarity of the treatment received by the Haitian refugees and that of the Cuban refugees (who were accorded a warm welcome in the U.S.) stated that if his clients had come from a Communist country, rather than one tyrannized by a non-Communist dictatorship, they would be allowed to gain asylum.
The position of Bierman and Sonnett is as outlined in the text of their Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the matter of 38 Haitians. (See Appendum #5).
5. Visit to Haitian Refugee Information Center
The Task Force visited the Haitian Refugee Information Center at the enlarged facilities recently provided by Dade County. There were approximately 30 local religious and community leaders present.
The Rev. James Jenkins, Chairperson of the newly organized Steering Committee, shared his experience as Director of the Haitian Refugee Information Center. His remarks brought out these statistics on the Haitian situation in the Miami area:
1. Approximately 400 Haitians are free-on-bond in the Miami area.
2. While lawyers fight the battle in the courts, local community support is needed to help these persons become self-sufficient or to simply stay alive.
3. Several of the women are pregnant and unable to work.
4. Six persons have been released from a tuberculosis sanitorium and 15 more will be released within the next several weeks.
5. At least 200 still are without permanent jobs. Sixty are without work of any kind on a regular basis.
6. Permanent housing is needed for 100 persons, many of whom are now sleeping 15 to a room.
7. Food is limited to one meal a day for most so that all can eat. Those who are employed provide for the others.
8. As telephone service and transportation are luxuries unavailable to most, several have missed appointments with Immigration officials and have been reincarcerated in the Dade County Stockade.
9. Seventy-five percent can only speak Creole, an Afro-French dialect, but all are willing to learn English.
10. A new enlarged center is being equipped to better serve the needs of the Haitians.
B. WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 22, 1974-MORNING SESSION
The hearing in Washington, D.C. was held at the Washington Office of the National Council of Churches with the following officials (listed in order of appearance):
Edward O'Connor-Associate Commissioner, Examinations, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice. (Two additional members of Mr. O'Connor's staff were also present.)
Christian Pappas-Assistant Director, Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs, Department of State.
Richard Jameson-Staff, Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs, Department of State.
Dale de Haan-Counsel, Senate Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees.
Dorothy Parker-Minority Counsel (also represented Majority Staff Counsel), Senate Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees.
Bishop Hubert N. Robinson, who had been represented in the Miami session by Mrs. Marie Portier, and Ms. Yvonne Price, who represented Clarence Mitchell of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights joined the Task Force.
1. Presentation by Associate Commissioner, Examinations, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice
Mr. O'Connor confirmed the Immigration Service's position as stated by Mr. Kessler and Mr. White in Miami and reiterated that any data which would substantiate the Haitian refugee's fear of persecution because of race, religion or political opinion should be submitted and the cases would be reopened and given further consideration. As regards to the not granting of permission for refugees to work, he declared that their "plans for survival are not to be accomplished by working." Mr. O'Connor further stated the INS position: refugees arriving in the United States have no right to legal counsel during the initial interview; the INS refused to release without bond the more than 120 detained Haitian refugees; insisted that such bonds contain a provision prohibiting the not granting of employment; rejected having an attorney present prior to and at the time refugees are interviewed; and reaffirmed that Haitians released from detention must periodically report at INS offices rather than at the Miami Haitian Refugee Center. Mr. O'Connor also acknowledged that concessions had been made on some of the points raised.
Mr. O'Connor promised to check out the INS figures for the number of refugees released to the Center who had absconded. Subsequent to the adjournment of the Task Force, he provided the chairperson of the Washington session with the following statistics received on May 22, 1974 at the Washington office:
"With reference 'to the questions raised by your group during our discussion this morning, I am advised that 924 Haitians have come to the attention of our Miami, Florida office since December 1, 1972, 105 of these cases have ben disposed of leaving a current figure of 819 cases. Of these, 137 Haitians who were released either under bofid or on their own recognizance have disappeared. 220 of the Haitians are females. The whereabouts of 37 of these women is presently unknown.
During 1973, the Haitian Refugee Center initially accepted responsibility for a group of 115 Haitians which included 3 children. The whereabouts of 22 of these Haitians (13 males and 9 females) is presently unknown."
A report by the Immigration Service giving their version of the situation and the Department of State's General Policy for Dealing with Requests for Asylum by Foreign Nationals are appended (Appendum #6).
2. Presentation by Assistant Director, Offi of Refugee and Migration Affairs,
Department of State and Staff, Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs
Messrs. Pappas and Jameson described the relationship between INS and the State Department: INS has the sole legal authority over whether or not asylum is granted, but routinely forwards requests for asylum to the State Department for its counsel on international political ramifications and the credibility of claims of political persecution. They reported that they have made no findings of systematic political persecution in Haiti, that the U.S. did grant asylum to the Coast Guard rebels, and that they do make checks into whether persons who have been returned to their country of origin have been persecuted in any manner (but they also noted that Ithese checks are occasional and not systematic). They emphasized also the possibility of reopening individual cases if additional evidence is brought to their attention.
3. Presentation by Counsel, Senate Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees
Mr. de Haan attempted to put the Haitian refugee situation in the broader context of the U.S. world-wide asylum policy. He noted that a Cold War view still prevails, and that admittance is easier from Communist countries than elsewhere. He urged that asylum policy not be based on our political relation with other countries, and, upon task force urging, said that he would pursue the possibility of Congressional hearings with Senators Eastland, Kennedy and Fong. He indicated that advocacy on behalf of Haitians had been effective and that such action should be kept up.
4. Presentation by Dorthy Parker, Minority Counsel, Senate Subcommittee on
Refugees and Escapees
Dorothy Parker put her emphasis on the due process aspects of the situation. She told the Task Force that it has the burden-of-proof, it must show the likelihood of persecution, it must get the basic facts to make any headway. She said it was not fruitful to focus on world-wide asylum policy; more important to be specific on a case-by-case basis. She nevertheless urged constituency pressure on Congress, and said the legislative question was whether to extend the preference categories to the Western Hemisphere. She also suggested that in seeking to get the Haitians paroled into the U.S., it may not be politically wise to seek their eligibility to work at a time when unemployment is high.
Based on discussions with Immigration and Naturalization Service officials and the interviews with refugees in Miami, the Task Force prepared a list of specific issues which they considered to be of immediate and profound concern in the proper and humane enforcement of our laws. These issues were the basis on which questions to officials were raised. Following are the specific issues and the government officials' replies to the questions raised:
(1) Bond-the release without bond of detained Haitian refugees for whom the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami is willing to assume responsibility.
Government's position.-Most Haitians are now being held in detention because they have no roots in the U.S. and, based on past experience, are likely to abscond if freed without some restraint. INS agreed to release any one of the detained Haitians upon the posting of a $500 bond.
(2) Employment--in exceptional cases where bond is required, that there be no prohibition on employment imposed in the bond.
Government's position.-Not granted. Plans for survival are not to be accomplished by working.
,(3) Due Process-a refugee to have the right to an attorney prior to and at the time he is questioned by INS officials.
Government's position.-As reported on by Kessler, White and O'Connor.
(4) Reporting Procedure-that regular reporting by Haitian refugees in Miami be effectuated at Ithe Haitian Refugee Center in Miami.
Government's position.-Not granted.
(5) The Task Force visited the Office of the Congressional Black Caucus and expressed to the staff person present a number of concerns regarding the Haitian refugees situation. Copies of petitions and resolutions from the Miami meeting were left for the members of the Caucus.
The Conclusions, Findings and Recommendations which follow are based on public testimony, interviews and presentations with Haitians, local officials, clergy, attorneys, representatives of local support groups and non-governmental organizations, Immigration and State Department officials during the course of the Hearings reported on in the foregoing.
A draft of this report was submitted to the consultants, staff resource persons and Task Force members for review and comment prior to the final printing.
It is hoped that, when adopted, the implementation of the Recommendations of the Task Force will be given high priority to help insure the rights of the Haitian refugees currently seeking asylum in the United States.
(1) The present treatment of Haitian refugees has not been given national attention. The Task Force believes that every avenue should be explored to inform the American people of this issue. If informed, we believe that the American people will provide the large dimension of public opinion support necessary to insure a humane policy toward Haitian refugees.
(2) The U.S. Government's position toward Haitian refugees contrast sharply with the warm welcome extended the Cuban refugees (who are mostly white) and to refugees from left-wing dictatorships. Serious question exists that governmental policy toward refugees racially and politically discriminates against those who are Black and/or fleeing right-wing dictatorships.
(3) Contrary to the INS's position, we believe that there is strong evidence that the INS procedures have been insensitive to the plight of the Haitians.
(4) Since the arrival in the United States of the first Haitian refugees in 1972, the U.S. Governmental policies'have become increasingly harsh. The first group of refugees were paroled without bonds; thereafter, bonds were required for men, and now even for women.
(5) The Immigration and Naturalization Service policy states that work prohibitions are to be included in bonds, and work authorization were revoked for those previously released.
(6) There is a real question about due process of law. The argumentation of the legal Memorandum prepared by attorneys for the Haitians is based on the position that an attorney should be present at all hearings and that, in fact, in relation to the Haitian refugees an attorney was not always so present.
(7) The situation of the Haitians will be precarious even if the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with this line of argument and order a stay of deportation until the Immigration Service could review the Haitians' cases with proper legal representation present.
(8) While it is clear that the INS is complying with the Convention and the Protocol (the principal international instruments for the protection of refugees and for the establishment of minimum standards for their treatment) as stipulated in Article I, the question of whether or not Articles 32 and 33 were complied with was not answered by INS testimony to the satisfaction of the Task Force.
(9) The testimony and the responses of the Haitian refugees questioned and the documentation gathered clearly establish the assertations of fear of persecution by the Duvalier regime to be credible, and the Haitians fear of reprisals, if they are deported to Haiti, to be well-founded. However, until this is established before the Immigration Service by actual documentation on each individual Haitian, the situation will remain unchanged. Therefore, all legal help must be provided in order that the individual affidavit of each Haitian refugee might be placed in the files before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Affdavit Project
The testimony of the Haitians underscored the need for preparation of affidavits covering all Haitian refugees. As the result of proposals and discussions by Task Force members, the Southeast Representative of the Division of Church and Society, jointly with the Haitian Refugee Information Center will soon have underway a project for the preparation of affidavits, based on in-depth interviews of refugees by law students and para-professionals under the supervision of an attorney.
Immigration officials indicate that, upon submission of such affidavits, reinterview of the refugees involved are scheduled, with a representative permitted to be present.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that adequate time be requested of the INS in which to have Haitians present additional evidence that, if returned to their native country, they will be imprisoned, executed, or subjected to political persecution.
2. Proposals for Governmental Action
(a) Paroled Haitian refugees, for whom the Haitian Refugee Information Center has assumed responsibility, have been reliable and reported when required.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that INS be requested to release the Haitians now in detention to the Haitian Refugee Information Center which is willing to assume responsibility for them, and that they should be released under their own recognizance and allowed to continue at liberty while the proceedings are pending.
(b) The Immigration and Naturalization Service is revising its bond procedures so as to incorporate in the bond a prohibition on the refugees' securing employment.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that request be made to the INS that no prohibition on employment be imposed on refugee bonds.
(c) The insistence by Immigration authorities on conducting initial interviews of refugees by an INIS investigator without an attorney present opens wide a door to miscarriages of justice. This was evidenced in the suicide of Turenne Deville in March, 1974, and the attempted suicides of two others in a Miami Jail who, on the eve of their scheduled deportation to Haiti, had no knowledge of appropriate legal recourse. This was also evidenced in the testimony of 29 refugees interviewed by the Task Force.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that in the proper and humane enforcement of our laws that the INS be requested to grant to all refugees the right to legal counsel at the initial and all subsequent interviews by INS and other authorities, and that refugees be so informed at the time of apprehension.
(d) Refugees are presently required to report monthly or more frequently to the Immigration Service's Miami office, thus endangering their employment, where this privilege has been granted.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that regular reporting be effectuated at the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, which would permit reporting on weekends or during evening hours.
(e) The Protocol to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was sponsored by the United Nations. The implementation of this Protocol, acceded to by the United States on November 1, 1968, is a domestic matter. Thus, recourse for adherence to the letter and spirit of the Protocol is properly made to the U.S. Government. At the same time, implementation of this Protocol, acceded to by over 40 countries, remains a matter of continuous concern to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, as a spokesman for the international community.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that the National Council of Churches voice its deep concern and opposition to immigration practices which makes ineffective the U.N. Protocol to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; that the National Council of Churches confer with, and make available to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, all the data gathered related to the Haitian refugees asylum requests under the full protection of the provisions of the Protocol.
(f) Recommendation.-It is recommended that the National Council of Churches seek legislative action in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate to alleviate the condition of the Haitian refugees and to grant them admission to the United States, and to communicate this action to the President of the United States, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the United States Senators, and to enlist their active support.
3. Fact-Finding Task Force to Haiti
Haitian refugees, as well as many Protestant and Catholic clergy who now reside in or who have recently visited Haiti affirm the prevalence of continuing political repression in Haiti. Immigration Service and State Department officials assert that an amelioration has occurred under President Jean Claude Duvalier. This issue of course plays a crucial role.
Recommendation.-It is recommended that the National Council of Churches appoint a Fact-Finding Task to research, in consultation with clergy, constituents' representatives and others in Haiti, the validity of the claim made by Haitians seeking asylum in the United States that political repression prevails in Haiti.
4. National Attention to Plight of Haitian Refugees
At the present time, knowledge regarding Haitian refugees is largely confined to Florida and to New York, where only a beginning has been made to bring the Issue to public attention. Supportive and official actions and resolutions have been received from many church groups, the AFL-CIO, in Washington, D.C., and the International Executive Board of the United Automobile Workers, and other significant groups.
Recommendation.-It is recommended, and the Task Force respectfully urges the Executive Committee through the appropriate channels to direct, that the National Council of Churches utilize all channels of communication available to the Council and through its member denominations to bring national attention to the plight of the Haitians in the U.S.A.; that the Office of Jnformation, the Office of Communication, the Commission on Broadcasting and Film and other program units give high priority to this matter; that one means should be the commissioning of a full length film depicting the plight of the Haitian refugees; that such a film be made available to the media, to churches and community groups; that commitment of the resources of religious communities to support the production of the film be sought.
5. Financial and Legal Assistance
The treatment of the Haitian refugees should incarnate the words of Our Lord, "I was a stranger and you took me in." The Task Force findings fully confirm the wisdom and necessity of the National Council of Churches' Resolution that "NCC member communions make urgent and continuing financial and legal assistance available to DOM's Church World Service Office of Immigration, the Division of Church and Society, the Haitian Refugee Information Center, in Miami, and the Ad Hoc Committee for Defense of Haitian Refugees in New York City." (Resolution in Support of Haitian Refugees, Adopted by the Governing Board February 28, 1974.)
6. The Task Force addresses itself primarily to the National Council of Churches
(a) Initiate a deep probe into subtle racial implications of the policies and practices of the INS in relation to the Haitians seeking asylum in the United States;
(b) Affirm its support of the groups and individuals who are working to bring justice, liberation and human fulfillment to the Haitian Refugees;
(c) Calls upon the Division of Church and Society, the Office of Immigration and Refugees of Church World Service, the Commission on Justice, Liberation and Human Fulfillment to be advocates for the participation of denominations, groups and individuals in efforts to aid the Haitian refugees;
(d) Seek full cooperation and participation of the constituent communions, the Roman Catholic Church, Jewish Organizations, civil groups, labor organizations, Haitian Refugees Support Committees and individual citizens in making effective coalitions of concern and action on the matter of the Haitian refugees.
(e) Facilitate the printing and broad distribution through all available channels of the Report of the Fact-Finding Task Force on the Haitian Situation in the United States and the Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations.
We urge your consideration of the facts herein presented and ask for your leadership in helping to effect the necessary steps for implementation of the recommendations.
.,OLGA MooTo, Recorder.
REPORT OF SENATOR EDWARD W. BROOKE, "UNITED STATES
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE FOR HAITI", APRIL 1974
United States Foreign Assistance For Haiti
Senator Edward W. Brooke Ranking Republican Member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman
SCnifeb faftesz Zcncate
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS WASHINGTON, D.C. 20510
July 17, 1974
The Honorable John L. McClellan Chairman, Senate Committee on
U. S. Senate
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Under the authority contained in your letter of
March 25, 1974, I recently visited Haiti to examine the U. S. Foreign Assistance Program for that country. I was accompanied by Mr. William D. Rossiter of the staff of the Committee on Appropriations.
I am herewith transmitting to you my complete
report setting forth the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the trip. Hopefully, this report will be useful to the Committee as it makes its decisions concerning the Foreign Assistance Program.
U. S. Senator
March 25, 1974
Honorable Edward W. Brooke United States Senate Washington, D. C. 20510 Dear Senator:
Please refer to your letter of March 18, 1974, requesting approval for you and Mr. William David Rossiter to travel to Haiti to review foreign assistance and related programs In that country.
I am happy to enclose a copy of a letter I have written to Secretary Kissinger authorizing the use of foreign currencies for your travel.
With kind personal regards, I am
John L. McClellan Chairman
63-435 0 76 6
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section I Conclusions And Recommendations 3
Political Conditions In Haiti 3
Development Prospects In Haiti 4
U.S. Aid Program 4
U.S. Private Investment In Haiti 6
Section II Summary Report 9
Expressed Concerns Of Committee 9
Haitian Government's Commitment To The Poor 11
Political Oppression 12
Freedom Of The Press In Haiti 14
Haitian Government Defense Expenditures 15
Haitian Budgetary Process 16
Tourism And Development In Haiti 17
Payments To Haitian Workers Employed In
American Factories 18
U.S. Assistance To Haiti 19
U.S. Private Investment In Haiti Backed
By U.S. Government Programs 26
U.S. Diplomatic Mission 28
Section III Appendices 29
Appendix I Haitian Budget 29
Appendix II Haitian Armed Forces 31
Appendix III Analysis Of U.S. Aid Programs. 35
Appendix IV U.S. AID Personnel In Haiti 38
Appendix V AID-Financed Vehicles 41
Appendix VI Assistance To Haiti From NonU.S. Donors 44
As a representative of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I recently visited Haiti to examine U. S. aid programs. I was accompanied by Mr. William D. Rossiter of the Committee's staff. The dates of the visit were April 15 through April 19, 1974.
The purpose of my visit was threefold:
(1) To determine the extent to which our assistance to Haiti
is fulfilling the stated goal of the Foreign Assistance
Act of 1974 of aiding the poorest individuals in the
(2) To determine whether U. S. business investments financed
or guaranteed in whole or part by agencies or quasicorporations of the U. S. government are fulfilling the
overriding goal of promoting an increased standard of
living for the poor in the developing countries.
(3) To evaluate the extent to which the Haitian government
is committed to policies conducive to the realization
of our aid objectives in Haiti.
In fulfilling these objectives I met with the following individuals and groups: His Excellency President Jean-Claude Duvalier of Haiti; acting Haitian Secretary of State for the Interior and National Defense, His Excellency Paul Blanchet; other Haitian cabinet officials; the
American Ambassador, Heyward Isham, and his Embassy staff, including AID personnel; the heads of major U. S. voluntary agencies, involved in assistance programs in Haiti, specifically CARE, Catholic Relief Services and Church World Services; the Ambassadors or Charge d' Affairs to Haiti of France, the Republic of China, Israel, Venezuela, Canada and the Federal Republic of Germany; and various representatives of U.S. firms doing business in Haiti. Moreover, visits were made to Tomar Industries and Habitation Leclerc, two OPIC-backed U.S. investments; to the AID-supported Haitian-American Community Help Organization (HACHO) project at Anse-Rouge in northwest Haiti; to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital at Deschapelles; and the community development project at Cotes-de-Fer in southern Haiti. Informal meetings were also held with various Haitians to obtain varying viewpoints as to the situation in their country.
This report is being provided for the use of both Committee
members and the Congress in general. It is divided into three sections. The first is a capsule summary of the conclusions I reached from the trip and the recommendations that flow therefrom. The second section is a detailed attempt to address the stated concerns of the Senate Committee on Appropriations regarding U. S. relations with Haiti, especially in regard to foreign assistance provided by the United States to the latter. The final section contains several appendices providing more detailed information on specific subjects. The report has been divided in this manner so as to make it useful to both those whose time constraints permit only a brief review of the findings and those who desire to explore the subject in greater depth.
SECTION I: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Political Conditions In Haiti Political conditions have improved in Haiti during the past 2 years. While the regime continues to function on authoritarian lines (Jean-Claude Duvalier is PresidentFor-Life), it has greatly diminished if not abandoned the use of force characteristic of the previous regime in implementing its political objectives.
The political apparatus, although authoritarian, does not have a totalitarian impact on the society. It neither has the capacity nor apparently the desire to obtain absolute mastery over the lives of the Haitians. Thus, in the immediate future both the Haitian political and economic systems will have limited impact on Haitian lives. This is especially the case in regard to rural Haiti.
All individuals imprisoned by the previous regime for
"political reasons" have apparently not been released as yet. However, there are indications that the present government is conscious of this problem and will seek to alter this situation so long as it does not feel threatened in doing so.
Some preliminary attempts have been made by the Haitian government to open the way for the return of exiles. Some have begun to return to Haiti. While the present Duvalier regime appears willing to come to some understanding with certain of the exiles, it will not welcome back those who advocate its overthrow.
While the Haitian government has shown an increasing desire to better the lot of its people, its main concern continues to be the
perpetuation of the political apparatus that has evolved over the years. However, if political stability is maintained, there is reason to hope that the emphasis will slowly continue to change toward the fostering of a better standard of living for the Haitian masses.
2. Development Prospects In Haiti The Haitian economy is not able to support any extensive program designed to foster meaningful economic development. Hence, Haiti needs extensive aid from external sources if it is to improve the lot of its peoples. However, it should be noted that President (Jean-Claude) Duvalier appears to be genuinely committed to improving economic conditions for his people. He terms his chief goal to be an "economic revolution" for his people.
Foreign aid can have a significant impact in countries such as Haiti because the development needs are so fundamental. Roads, crude irrigation systems and primitive health facilities are all lacking. The building of these basic infrastructure items will require modest amounts of foreign assistance.
The one major problem in Haiti will be formulating projects in such a way as to facilitate the transition from relief-oriented endeavors to true development. The latter can be defined as selfperpetuating economic progress that does not rely exclusively on external aid for its stimulation. I find little evidence that this aspect of the development picture in Haiti has been thoroughly recognized as yet.
3. U. S. Aid Program The U. S. aid program is almost entirely oriented toward helping the poorest segments of the Haitian population. While too modest in the amount of aid provided, it is having some beneficial impact on Haitian lives. However, if we are to truly "help the Haitians help themselves" our aid levels will have to increase to
some extent in the years ahead.
Major emphasis is now being given in our aid program to promoting development in the agricultural sector. This is as it should be given the fact that 80% of the Haitians live in rural areas. However, there is a recognition that simultaneous progress must be made on other problems such as road construction and maintenance and health needs if lasting development impact is to be achieved in the agricultural as well as other sectors. Hence, the United States is also involved in a road maintenance project and has been actively engaged in health programs in Haiti for some time.
I found no evidence that U. S. aid monies are being misused either by the Haitian government or by U. S. representatives. Indeed, I was impressed with the concern evidenced by our personnel in ensuring that our aid was used for its intended purposes. Moreover, the Haitian government has exhibited sensitivity to the need to ensure that U. S. aid funds are utilized effectively and for the intended purposes. There is no evidence of a desire on the part of the Haitian government to use U. S. foreign assistance funds for its own narrow political interests. This was confirmed in my discussions with representatives of other donor countries and international agencies.
Two other aspects of our aid endeavor were particularly impressive. First, there is a conscious attempt by the United States to coordinate its aid program with that of other donors, especially the international financial institutions. For instance, the road maintenance project sponsored by the United States is directly supportive of the two large road construction loans given to Haiti by
the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. (See Appendix VI for summary of other aid donors.)
Second, there is extensive involvement of U. S. voluntary agencies (VOLAGS) in aid projects in Haiti. These range from the major VOLAGS such as CARE and Catholic Relief Services down to other organizations having only one or two representatives in the country. It was estimated by Embassy personnel that some 150 U. S. VOLAGS have been active in the country at one time or the other. There was unanimous agreement among everyone I talked to that the VOLAGS work has been overwhelmingly beneficial.
4. U. S. Private Investment In Haiti and Development Concerns The most beneficial form of foreign business investment in Haiti is that which emphasizes labor-intensive endeavors. U. S. government support to private investors, through entities such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), should be oriented toward promoting this type of investment in Haiti.
Tourism provides a useful means for Haiti to obtain foreign currency. However, it does not appear to have had a widespread impact on the standard of living of the vast majority of rural Haitians. Given this fact, the U. S. government's support, in the form of risk insurance or other guarantees, for U. S. private investors engaged in tourism in Haiti should be limited.
1. The basic purpose of U. S. foreign aid is to improve the standard of living of the world's poor. U. S. aid programs in Haiti are clearly attempting to do that. They should continue and merit the support of the Congress.
2. Emphasis in the U. S. aid program in Haiti should continue to be given to the agricultural sector. The greatest immediate impact can be made in that sector.
3. The U. S. AID mission in Haiti should determine which of its projects are essentially relief-oriented and which have true development characteristics. A report should be prepared and submitted to the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations outlining this basic dichotomy in our aid effort in Haiti, and identifying possible ways to diminish the "relief" nature of much of our aid.
4. AID should provide the Foreign Operations Subcommittee with a five year projection of U. S. assistance to Haiti. This should include anticipated levels of assistance, anticipated projects, details as to how the use of the assistance will be monitored, analysis of how U. S. assistance will be coordinated with that of other donors, and a delineation of how the success or failure of projects will be determined.
5. There should be an increase in U. S. aid funds for Haiti sufficient to allow the implementation of reforestation pilot projects and the expansion of the HACHO project back to its pre-1974 level of activity.
6. A serious effort should be made to institute a Peace Corps program for Haiti. President Duvalier personally indicated receptivity to this idea.
If such a project proves feasible, emphasis should be given to attracting volunteers who have had previous experience in erosion control and working marginally productive land.
7. Future U. S. projects should be designed to involve U. S.
VOLAGS to the maximum extent possible. This naturally will put pressure on the VOLAGS to increase their capacity to handle a larger amount of the assistance funds.
8. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation should seek to limit its involvement in tourism-oriented investment by U. S. firms in Haiti to projects that are clearly reflective of U. S. foreign aid objectives. This recommendation does not indicate a positive or negative assessment of the business aspects of such investment. It stems from my belief that tourist-oriented investment is not the most productive means of improving the standard of living of the Haitian poor.
9. While the condition of Haitians who may have unjustly suffered because of their political views should continue to be of concern to the Congress, we should recognize that positive political changes have taken place in Haiti. Further change will be encouraged by our willingness to accept that time and an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary process will be needed to rectify this situation.
10. No military assistance should be given Haiti. However,
there is merit in helping the Haitians develop a sea-rescue capability. If this was in existence Haiti could assume some of the responsibility for sea-rescue tasks in the area. These tasks are currently carried out solely by the United States.
SECTION II: SUMMARY REPORT
OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO THE EXPRESSED CONCERNS OF THE COMMITTEE
In the Senate Committee on Appropriations' report entitled,
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 1974
(#93-620), serious issues were raised as to conditions in Haiti. These
can be summarized as follows:
1. It is questionable whether the Haitian government is
committed to improving the standard of living of its
2. While the grim visible terror of the previous regime
in Haiti has subsided, there still continues within the
government of Jean-Claude Duvalier an unflinching
willingness to suppress people.
3. Hundreds of Haitians continue to suffer as political
4. Many Haitians continue to flee from their homeland to
escape political persecution.
S. There is no freedom of the press in Haiti.
6. The Haitian government does not appear to be giving proper
priority to social and humanitarian considerations.
The Haitian government spends too much on defense. Of
a budget of $33.3 million in 1973, fully $8 million was
allocated to the Ministry of Internal Security and
The Haitian government is building a $1 million memorial
to Francois Duvalier and is spending $1.5 million to
improve the soccer stadium in Port-au-Prince.
7. The Haitian government's policy of attracting tourist-oriented
foreign investment makes no appreciable donation to the
effort of alleviating the suffering of the Haitian masses.
8. Haitian workers employed in transformation industries
owned by American companies are not receiving the level
of wages provided by the American companies to the
Based upon a perhaps too-ready acceptance of these allegations as fact, the Committee report stated: ".despite the desperate need of the Haitian people, the conditions may not exist within the Haitian government which would enable our resources to be put to beneficial use." The purpose of my visit to Haiti was to determine whether or not this was the case.
Haitian Government's Commitment To Aiding Its Poor My conversations with Haitian officials and others clearly indicated that the Haitian government has not yet committed a substantial portion of its resources, which are modest in the extreme, to meeting some of the elementary needs of its poorest peoples located in rural areas.1 This is the case for several reasons. First, the internal resources of the country are so limited as to make it very difficult to do much more than try to maintain the limited infrastructure that exists in Portau-Prince and its surrounding area. Any extensive internally financed program for the rural areas is clearly beyond existing Haitian capabilities.
Second, the primary concern of the Haitian government at present is the perpetuation of the political apparatus that has evolved over the years.2 This is not an unusual phenomenon in countries in a similar phase of development as Haiti. However, given this primary focus the Haitian government is not sufficiently sensitive to initiatives it could take to better the lot of its poor.
Third, administrative incompetence characterizes the governmental apparatus. This is the result of the many years of inattention to the
See Appendix I. Although $14.4 million is earmarked for development purposes in 1973/74, it is questionable whether the majority of this amount is used for true development projects.
2 This desire to perpetuate the political apparatus has not been characterized by the political violence of the previous regime as far as I could determine.
administrative structure by the regime of Francois Duvalier. Recent administrative changes in the cabinet indicate that a serious effort is being made to overcome the problem. More technocrats and younger progressive individuals are being brought into the government although the pace of change is much slower than one would expect under the conditions extant in Haiti. Nevertheless, there is movement in the right direction.
Given these inhibiting factors, it is unlikely that significant substantive expressions of the Haitian government's commitment to aiding its poor will be evidenced in the near future. Progressive changes that do take place will have only minimal impact for some time to come given the nature of development tasks facing Haiti. Nevertheless, Haiti has begun to commit some of its limited resources to development progress. Hopefully it will continue to do so in increasing amounts in the future. (See Appendix-I)
The question of Political Oppression I explored this problem in depth while in Haiti. Questions related to it were asked of four groups U. S. Embassy personnel including AID officials; representatives of U. S. voluntary agencies operating in Haiti; official representatives of other countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Haiti; and private Haitian individuals. The one general theme of all these conversations was that in the past several years the situation had improved dramatically regarding the level of political violence in the society.
It was admitted by all that in the previous regime there was use of force to attain political objectives. Now, however, there appears to be a conscious decision to refrain from such means in pursuing political
goals. This is not to say that political violence may not re-emerge if stability in the system were to dissolve. But it does appear that the present regime is willing to try a non-violent approach in carrying out its programs.
The major unresolved problem in this area is the handling of
individuals who suffered political oppression under Francois Duvalier. These would include individuals imprisoned for non-criminal offenses and those who left Haiti as a result of political persecution. While no exact count can be obtained of the former group, it does appear that some still languish in Haitian jails. There does appear to be some consideration in the present regime of the idea of granting amnesty to individuals imprisoned for "political reasons" under Francois Duvalier. In fact, individuals have been released on several occasions. However, it appears that a major problem still remains.
The situation of the Haitian exiles is a much more complex issue. No one can deny that some of the exiles living in the United States and elsewhere were forced to flee Haiti because of their political leanings. They can be properly classed as "political refugees" although it is impossible to determine their exact number.
Many of the Haitian exiles, however, are more "economic" than "political" refugees. Conditions in Haiti are such as to create a desire in the educated classes to migrate to the United States and elsewhere in order to improve their standard of living. However, entry visas into the United States are difficult to obtain. The only other
way to gain entry is to claim to be a "political refugee" as "economic refugees" are not accorded sanctuary. Hence, the only alternative is to claim "political refugee" status even though the true reason for leaving Haiti is an economic one. This is what has happened in the cases of many Haitian exiles seeking permanent residency in the United States.
As far as I could determine, the attitude of the Haitian government toward the Haitian exiles is moderating. Certain individuals who went into exile under Francois Duvalier have returned to Haiti. Many others will likely be allowed to do so under the present government. However, those exiles who continue to demand the overthrow of President Jean-Claude Duvalier would not be welcomed back. This should surprise no one as it is a common tendency of any government to look with disfavor on those who advocate its overthrow.
I believe the present government in Haiti is attempting to find a way to permit the return of exiles desiring to once again live in Haiti. However, it will continue to be very-sensitive in regards to those exiles who advocate its demise. Progress on this problem will thus be slow and subject to periodic setbacks if the regime feels threatened.
Freedom Of The Press And Haiti It is correct to say that there is no freedom of the press in Haiti as we would know it. While I found no evidence of strict and absolute governmental censorship, it was apparent that the various newspapers were aware of the outer limits of what would be permissable to print. Nevertheless, criticism does exist of certain government policies or lack thereof although no criticism is made directly of President Duvalier.
One other aspect of the press situation in Haiti that is distressing is the fact that certain cabinet officials also have an interest in some of the newspapers. In the United States this would be a clear conflictof-interest situation. However, it must be remarked that this is not an unusual situation in countries such as Haiti where there exists only a small minority of individuals capable of providing leadership either in the government or in the private sector.
Haitian Government Defense Expenditures The section of the Committee's report involving Haiti accused the Haitian government of spending too much for defense $8 million of a budget of $33.3 million in the 73/74 fiscal year. My investigation of this issue revealed that the facts were at variance with the implications of the Committee report.
The Committee report used the figure of $33.3 million to represent the total Haitian fiscalized budget of 1973/74. However, this represents only one portion of the budget. To that figure should be added the $14.4 million allocated for the development budget. Thus, total Haitian fiscalized resources for the period are $47.7 million. This, naturally, changes the % figure for the portion of the budget allocated for defense purposes.
Of the $8 million stated by the Committee to be used for defense purposes, only $6.4 million is available for the armed services. The remaining $1.6 million is used for miscellaneous services such as the operation of the Palace and Legislature. Moreover, the $6.4 million allocated to the Armed Services is used not only for the military but
63-435 0 76 '7
also to pay for the fire departments throughout the society as well as for other non-defense services.
Anyone taking the time to examine the nature of the Haitian
military in terms of its capabilities and its limited impact on Haitian society would be impressed as to the total lack of capacity to exercise anything approaching totalitarian control (See Appendix II). That type of capability simply does not exist nor does it appear that the present regime has any intentions of developing such a capability in the armed forces. If anything, there appears to be a concerted effort to make sure that the military remains relatively ineffectual.
Haitian Budgetary Process There is widespread recognition both within the Haitian government and among foreign aid donors that the Haitian budgetary process is in drastic need of overhaul. This point was emphasized in my meetings with the representatives of international institutions involved in aid projects in Haiti. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is especially concerned about this problem and is seeking ways to help the Haitian government overcome its difficulties in this regard.
One of the most serious deficiences in Haiti's budgetary approach is the existence of non-fiscalized revenues. Estimates of funds flowing into the government that are not accounted for in the budget range as high as $10 million. This is a significant amount in a country whose official operating and development budgets total approximately $48 million (FY 73-74).
Some indications exist that the Haitian government is willing to take positive action to overcome this problem. There is an increased willingness on the part of the government officials to work closely with IMP representatives and others to bring about the needed changes. Again, however, movement in this direction will be slow and evolutionary given the nature of the Haitian political structure and the ultracautious approach of the Duvalier regime to potentially disruptive change.
Tourism and Development in Haiti The Haitian government has placed a great deal of emphasis on attracting tourist-oriented foreign investment to Haiti. Port-au-Prince and Cape Haitian have been the focal points of this investment. In many ways these two cities have become islands of affluence (in relative terms) in the sea of Haitian poverty.
As of yet there has been marginal spin-off benefits for Haiti's poor living outside of the resort cities resulting from the growth of tourism. This occurs as a result of the lack of an administrative infrastructure throughout the country through which the economic benefits of tourism could be diffused to parts of Haiti not directly involved in the tourist sector. Moreover, benefits from tourism are not widespread at present because the amount of earnings from the industry has not reached levels sufficient to permit effective use of these funds on a countrywide basis. It would be ludicrous to expect the Haitian government to dissipate its meager resources so that all sections of the country would receive some assistance out of tourism. To do so would
only ensure that no significant development would take place in any sectors of the society.
In the future, one can hope for a slow but increasing expansion of the benefits of tourist-related investment to Haitians living outside of the major resort cities. In most cases this will likely take the form of the expansion of labor intensive cottage industries designed to supply the main tourist areas with articles of clothing and craftwork desired by the tourists. One can already see such industries developing in some of the areas of the countryside that surround Port-au-Prince. Encouragement of this development should be one of the focal points of development efforts.
Payments To Haitian Workers Employed In American Factories
Through recent action, the Haitian government has established a minimum wage of $1.30 a day in Haiti. This is self-evidently subsistance pay at the best. However, Jt is an improvement over previous periods and indicates the beginning of a sensitivity to the economic plight of most Haitians.
In regard to the Committee's allegation that Haitians are not receiving the level of wages set by American companies using Haitian contractors, I am unable to present any substantive conclusion as I have not received any detailed analysis of the wages paid in Americabacked industries. However, I do believe this is a subject that merits further exploration and I have asked a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations' staff to seek out relevant data on the problem.