INS Haitian DED

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, 1997.

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 judge.

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 issued.
  • 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 -

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 98021359.