Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 98021359 (posted Feb. 13, 1998)"
INS Announces Additional Guidelines For Haitians Eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure<
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced that it is temporarily
suspending the adjudication of asylum applications filed by Haitians eligible for Deferred
Enforced Departure (DED) following a directive issued by President Clinton on December 23,
The Service decision to suspend adjudication of applications filed by DED-eligible
Haitians follows the President's directive, which bars the removal of certain Haitians for
one year. This decision, which covers affirmative asylum applications, is a counterpart to
the Service's January 14 announcement that it would agree to administrative closure of
cases involving Haitians eligible for DED who are in proceedings before an immigration
INS directed its asylum offices to divide the pending cases of DED-eligible Haitians
into three categories: cases not yet scheduled for interview; cases scheduled for
interview and pending interview; and cases interviewed and pending issuance of a final
decision. Under the directive:
- If an applicant's interview is not already scheduled, it will not be scheduled unless
the applicant specifically requests an asylum interview.
- Haitian applicants who have been sent an interview notice and who appear will be
screened for DED eligibility. Those found eligible will be informed of their potential
eligibility, and then be given the option of proceeding with their interview or having it
rescheduled after DED expires. Files of applicants who do not appear will be screened for
DED eligibility. Those found eligible will not be referred to the immigration courts
(EOIR) and their files will be retained in INS asylum offices until further guidance is
- For cases already interviewed: Final decisions will be made for applicants found
eligible for asylum, or, for other cases, further action will be suspended unless the
applicant requests in writing to be placed in proceedings, in which case a Notice to
Appear will be issued.
The announcements issued today and January 14 stem from President Clinton's directive
to afford certain Haitian nationals DED for one year. With some exceptions, the directive
covers Haitian nationals who were paroled into the United States before December 31, 1995,
or who filed for asylum before December 31, 1995, and who have been continuously present
in the United States since that date.
The January 14 announcement on the administrative closing of cases noted that both INS
and the alien must consent to administrative closure before an immigration judge closes a
case in this manner. Under some circumstances, Haitian nationals who would be eligible for
administrative closure may choose to continue proceedings.
- INS -