Re the June 12 Herald story U.S. releases Haitian, 18, from Krome:
The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children is pleased that Ernesto Joseph was released from the Krome Detention Center.
However, we must point out that Joseph's release was long overdue -- an immigration judge had granted him asylum months ago.
It's hard not to conclude that it practically takes an act of God -- or at least a sustained advocacy campaign by Amnesty, FIAC, the Women's Commission and other refugee advocates -- to get the Department of Homeland Security to do to the right thing by Haitian refugees in this country.
Last year, the Women's Commission documented the serious and rapid deterioration of human rights in Haiti.
Such political problems are exactly why the United States has an asylum policy. It is in place to protect innocent victims of repressive governments.
It's time for the Bush administration to extend to all detained Haitians what it finally did for Joseph. It should release them from detention and give them a fair chance to have their asylum claims heard.
The Women's Commission
for Refugee Women and Children