Refugee Resettlement Watch

Another suggestion for Haitian refugees—Guantanamo Bay

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 16, 2010

This is an article from mid-week, so it’s a little old, but apparently under consideration for housing Haitians is Guantanamo Bay’s Camp Justice.  I just wonder how out of the  thousands displaced, someone (who?) is going to decide who gets to come to any US facility?   Yesterday we heard that thousands are expected in Florida, here.

Haitians left homeless or without food and water by Tuesday’s major earthquake may be sent to live temporarily at Guantanamo Bay, according to two Defense Department officials.

Military planners are considering housing Haitian refugees at the Naval base in Cuba, the officials told FOX News.

“We are certainly keeping that option open,” one official said. “Of course no final determinations have been made as the military is still in its ‘assessment’ mode.”

Guantanamo Bay has a long history of housing refugees from the Caribbean, particularly Haitian refugees.

In 1991, after a military coup ignited a violent power struggle in Haiti, more than 30,000 Haitian refugees passed through Guantanamo Bay, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

If refugees from Tuesday’s earthquake are brought to Guantanamo Bay, they would likely be housed at Camp Justice, where reporters and other visitors have stayed when covering the military trials of terror suspects.

Camp Justice is about a half-hour drive, across the base and over densely forested hills, from where terror suspects are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Asked at an afternoon press briefing whether Guantanamo Bay is under consideration to house Haitian refugees or detain Haitian criminals, a top military official told reporters the naval base is a possibility.

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