In-Country Refugee Processing of Haitians: The Case Against

Bill Frelick

Abstract


Reviewing past experience with in-country processing in Haiti and its links to American interdiction policies, as well as the history of Cuban migration to the United States, this paper argues against in-country processing for Haitian refugees. The paper asserts that in-country processing in Haiti in the early 1990s was a failure, and arguably was used as a justification for returning to persecution far more people than it saved. The very existence of a small aperture through which relatively few selected individuals will be able to pass for legal admission to the United States is likely to erode the rights of many more Haitian asylum seekers seeking to leave spontaneously and, in particular, to serve to rationalize migration control measures that seriously compromise the fundamental principles of refugee law.

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