Nearly 700 Haitian Convicts Released During Moratorium on Deportations

David Ovalle, Miami Herald, February 18, 2012

Kesler Dufrene, who last year slaughtered three people in North Miami after being let out of immigration custody, wasn’t the only convict released to the streets because of a moratorium on deportations to Haiti.

According to newly released federal statistics, 687 Haitians slated for deportation were released to the streets in 2010 because of the year-long moratorium on deportations to the earthquake-ravaged island.

Of those, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took 90 back into custody and deported them to Haiti once the moratorium was lifted in January 2011. Another 16 are back in detention and are awaiting deportation.

And the rest, more than 500, are still out on the streets on supervised release or are out on their own recognizance. According to ICE, some are seeking “legal relief” to halt their deportations while others have been granted “an immigration benefit.”

Some are back in local jail after being re-arrested, according to ICE, which did not specify exactly how many have re-offended.


On humanitarian grounds, the Obama administration halted deportations to Haiti after an earthquake decimated the island. And since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people slated for deportation cannot be held for more than six months, 687 Haitians were ultimately released after the Jan. 12 earthquake.


Tens of thousands of deportees, most of them Cubans convicted of serious felonies, are currently out on supervised probation because Cuba won’t accept them back. {snip}

In Dufrene’s case, he was not required to wear any sort of electronic monitoring system. Instead, Dufrene simply had to present himself to immigration authorities in person once a month, which he did not do—although he did call immigration agents to reschedule shortly before the murders.

Of the hundreds of convicts currently released to the streets, only 55 are required to wear electronic monitors, according to ICE.


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