The deportation of David Joseph

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The deportation of David Joseph

Post by admin » Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:08 am

Windows on HaitiMonday, December 02, 2004 1:37 AM

The deportation of David Joseph
Guy S. Antoine

The decision might have been to reunite David Joseph with his younger brother Daniel and release them both in the care of a relative or a willing and responsible person in the Haitian community.

Instead they chose to deport David Joseph back to Haiti, where he runs the risk of being incarcerated upon arrival and killed eventually. I have visited some of the Haitian deportees in a jail at Leogane back in 2000. The conditions were extremely deplorable. I doubt very much that the conditions have improved since. In fact, from the reports we have seen recently, life for homeless Haitian kids, and even those who have a home but live in "quartiers populaires" suspected of being strongholds of Lavalas partisans, has gotten immeasurably mo
re dangerous, to the damning shame of this so-called technocratic government of Haiti and that of its employer, the Bush administration. Back in the year 2000, Lavalas was in power, and it was extremely disgusting that the Lavalas government did not do more to protect the sons of the Nation. Now Lavalas is out of power, and those who rejoiced over it should have expected a more humanitarian government, if that was their aim. Instead, we have witnessed a worsening of the situation in Haiti for its most vulnerable citizens.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same," one is tempted to say, but in Haiti's case, one is almost forced to wish that things would stay the same, because "ça va toujours de mal en pis" (things are always getting worse).

Two separate courts in the United States, a lower court and a court of appeals, had pronounced themselves in favor of David Joseph and ordered his release to a relative. Attorney General John Ashcroft overruled them, in the name of national sec
urity, and ordered David Joseph's continued detention. John Ashcroft has pursued this particular case with exceptional, if not fanatical vigor. Now that he has submitted his resignation and that he is serving in a lame duck position until his replacement has been ratified, it appears like he wanted to make sure that the next Attorney General would not reverse his absurd decision which he cloaked under the guise of national security. Therefore, he decided to deport David Joseph back to Haiti. I guess that he could not find enough grounds to re-assign David to Guantanamo to wait indefinitely for a military trial as an enemy combatant. However, he must have been satisfied that the hellish conditions in Haiti provided a suitable alternative.

As my wife exclaimed when she heard this latest report: "What the hell is wrong with John Ashcroft?"

We wish David Joseph the best of the unappealing set of conditions that must surely await him, but should he die like so many others, may his blood stains find their way to the doorstep of the Office of John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the Blue and Red States of America.

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Post by admin » Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:13 am

Sun-SentinelCubans, Haitians are both refugees
Patricia Sagastume
Weston

December 9, 2004

Are Cubans worse off than Haitians? No way. No matter how difficult and repressive life is in Cuba, Haiti is the poorest, most war-torn and most hurricane-devastated country in this hemisphere.

In the same week that 10 Cubans landed on the shores of Fort Lauderdale, 24 Haitians were quietly deported back to Haiti, including the youngest and longest held prisoner, David Joseph.

Why do lawmakers spend so much time denouncing the Cuban situation but are silent when it comes to recognizing that Haitians escaping their country are political refugees?

If Haiti is indeed a staging point for terrorism, as Attorney General John Ashcroft claims, then why not invade that country to restore freedom and democracy? Why isn't Mr. Ashcroft worried that the chaos coul
d encourage a terrorist situation like in Iraq? If our attorney general believed what he said, and David Joseph is such a threat to our national security, why was this young Haitian held for two years, only to be deported without even an explanation about what was learned from his captivity?

So far, David's attorney has heard from him only once. He was scared and alone. During the same week, Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Haiti calling for democracy, while violence erupted blocks away. Thankfully, Mr. Powell was safe. Hopefully, David will be so lucky.


Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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