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4 Haitians who survived shipwreck near Miami released by ICE

Many people from other countries are interested in residing in the United States. In some cases the route individuals take to achieve this goal involves sneaking in. It is likely that many are aware of a recent attempt at this that went awry off the coast of Miami earlier this month. A total of 15 people, including multiple individuals from Haiti, were on the overcrowded boat that left from the Bahamas. Four of those individuals, all women from Haiti, died when the boat began to sink.

The surviving occupants of the boat were taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Of the 11 survivors, six face criminal charges of, among other things, attempted smuggling. Four others, all from Haiti, were recently released by ICE. Those who were recently released are slated to be witnesses in those criminal cases. One other individual who has not been criminally charged is still in custody.

The four individuals who were recently released will not immediately be returned to Haiti. This is due to a no-deportation order that was put into place regarding Haitians after a devastating earthquake hit the country several years ago. Unlike some Haitians who since the earthquake have received Temporary Protected Status, the recently released individuals do not qualify. They may however seek asylum. Whatever the next step for these individuals, for the best outcome it is likely they will seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer. That individual would likely be able to provide guidance as to the best way to proceed.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Haitian boat survivors released from immigration custody,” Jacqueline Charles, October 22, 2013 

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