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Haitian Refugees Repatriated

MIAMI – The Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition (HAGC) deeply deplores the decision of the Obama Administration to repatriate yesterday 78 Haitian Refugees intercepted at sea by the Bahamian Navy.

As Haiti faces its worst crisis in its history, the international community, including the United States, should work with the Preval Government and civil society organizations in the Haitian diaspora and Haiti to come with short and long term solutions to the Haitian migration problem.

As a result of the earthquake, certain countries in the Caribbean and in Africa have offered safe haven to Haitian Nationals, Haitian Authorities must put in place a mechanism to facilitate such undertaking. HAGC is advocating for implementing an In-Country processing of Haitian Nationals wanting to leave their homeland to settle in other countries.

The In-Country processing will provide the necessary mechanism and alternative to risky and deadly voyage that usually result in tragedy. This solution can work if there is enough political will from all the parties involved to implement it.

In addition, reports from the ground indicates there is an increasing frustration among the displaced persons that the distribution of relief being provided to the affected population is inefficient and inadequate.

Haitian authorities have placed only 16 distribution center to serve a population of over 1,000,000 displaced persons.

HAGC is conducting a press briefing today (Feb. 12) at 3:00 pm at Jean-Jacques Dessalines Community Center 8325 NE 2 Ave. Miami in order to provide an update of member organizations which recently traveled to Haiti to lend a hand in the Haitian Relief Effort in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

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