Half The Story

The Skewed U.S. Monitoring of Repatriated Haitian Refugees

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The May 24 Executive Order authorizing the summary repatriation of Haitian boat people is premised on the view, expressed by President Bush and other U.S. officials, that none of the Haitians risk political persecution upon return to Haiti. That view is principally based on surveys of repatriates conducted by State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials. This report analyzes these surveys and finds them deeply flawed. Whether by design or negligence, the surveys exclude repatriates who are at greatest risk of persecution. Even those repatriates who are included are interviewed under circumstances that strongly discourage them from describing the persecution they face.