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25258: Hermantin ( News)Group demands papers on Haitians' detentions (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Sat, May. 28, 2005
Group demands papers on Haitians' detentions
>From Herald Staff and Wire Services
Haitian advocates accused the government Friday of not fully cooperating
with their request to locate documents justifying the Bush administration's
decision to indefinitely detain Haitian migrants on grounds that they posed
a national security threat.
The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center filed Freedom of Information Act
requests with five government agencies. The center hoped to see if there is
any factual basis for former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's 2003
ruling that arriving Haitians should be denied bond and detained
indefinitely because the State Department had ``noticed an increase in
third-country nations (Pakistanis, Palestinians, etc.) using Haiti as a
staging point for attempted migration to the United States.''
Only the National Security Agency and the State Department responded to the
FOIA requests, center attorneys said. The State Department provided
documents of Chinese nationals traveling through Haiti in hopes of entering
the United States but failed to produce evidence supporting the claim
involving Pakistanis or Palestinians, attorneys said.
The NSA said that it had found one document -- but was exempt from
disclosing it for security reasons.
Friday's court hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Gold focused on
that particular document and whether the NSA had properly searched its
''They didn't search for what we specifically sought,'' center attorney Carl
Goldfarb said. ``If there isn't an increase of immigrants from those
countries then that statement is false and misleading.''
U.S. Attorney Carole Fernandez told Gold that a reasonable search was
conducted for ''any and all all records'' in the matter. The judge was the
only one allowed to review the document.
Gold did not rule, giving both sides time to file additional briefs