Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02103173 (posted Oct. 31, 2002)"
STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT
REGARDING THE HAITIAN
MIGRANT SITUATION IN MIAMI, FLORIDA
“The events yesterday regarding Haitian and other migrants in
Miami are of great concern. Our first priority must be the health and safety of
the individuals on board the vessel. These individuals are being treated fairly,
appropriately, and humanely.
Illegal migration by sea is perilous and the dangers are real. We call upon
anyone who is considering similar attempts to come to the United States in this
manner to reject this hazardous voyage. These types of voyages are unlikely to
succeed and could result in tragic loss of life.
The U.S. Government encourages legal travel to the United States and our
consulates continue to issue non-immigrant and immigrant visas to qualified
applicants. Since 1999, approximately 58,000 Haitians have legally migrated to
the United States, making it the country with the fourth highest rate of legal
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act passed by Congress, individuals who
arrive in the United States and do not present themselves for inspection are in
violation of our country's immigration laws. The Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) is currently processing the individuals who arrived yesterday for