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ICE To Resume Deportations To Haiti In January

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly will resume deporting Haitian nationals convicted of crimes in the United States in January 2011. An earthquake last January occurred in Haiti. After January's earthquake, the United States put deportations to Haiti on hold. The earthquake left thousands dead and the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, in ruins.

A 35-year-old Haitian national stood trial three years ago in the Liberty City Seven terrorism investigation from 2006. The man has no U.S. conviction, but is scheduled for deportation sometime next year. In his deportation defense, the man has filed a petition in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the deportation. The Justice Department has said only that the 35-year-old man will not be deported before January 12, 2011.

Across the United States, the government says approximately 350 Haitian nationals with convictions are currently being held in ICE custody. The 35-year-old man is among those subject to the change in ICE policy regarding post earthquake deportations to Haiti. The man reportedly has lived lawfully in the United States since the 1980s.

The man was jailed after an FBI sting in 2006. He has been held behind bars since June 2006 in Georgia, Florida and now Louisiana. The government claims he is a terrorist sympathizer and threat to national security despite his acquittal at trial. Some experts say that lawful U.S. residents, such as the 35-year-old man may be locked up and possibly deported on terrorism-related allegations, even in the absence of a conviction under the USA Patriot Act.

The man's wife and three children continue to reside in Miami.

Source: Miami Herald, "Acquitted member of Liberty City Seven fights deportation," Jay Weaver 15 Dec 2010

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