View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 23, 1997


Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Haitians

Today, I have directed the Attorney General and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to defer for one year the deportation of Haitians who were paroled into the United States or applied for asylum prior to December 31, 1995. This action implements the commitment I made to address the situation of Haitians when I signed immigration legislation last month offering relief to Central Americans and others. It will shield these Haitians from deportation while we work with Congress to provide them long-term legislative relief.

Haitians deserve the same treatment we sought for Central Americans. Like Central Americans, Haitians for many years were forced to seek the protection of the United States because of oppression, human rights abuses and civil strife at home. Many of them have established strong ties and made significant contributions to our communities. And, while we have been encouraged by Haiti's progress following the restoration of democratic government in 1994, the situation there remains fragile. Staying the deportation of these Haitians and obtaining for them permanent legislative relief will help support a stable and democratic Haiti - which, in turn, is the best safeguard against a renewed flow of Haitian migrants to the United States.

# # #