Hillary says US will turn back Haitian boat people


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US will turn back Haitian boat people: Clinton

(AFP) – 13 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The United States will enforce its own laws and repatriate any Haitians who illegally enter US territory while fleeing quake-hit Haiti, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

"Ordinary and regular immigration laws will apply going forward, which means we are not going to be accepting into the US Haitians who are attempting to make it to our shores," Clinton told reporters.

"They will be interdicted, they will be repatriated," the chief US diplomat said when asked what could be done to prevent Haitians from fleeing the country in the first place.

The US authorities said Wednesday that they have not observed any massive influx of Haitian boat people since the devastating earthquake hit Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas on January 12.

Clinton recalled that Washington, for humanitarian reasons, has granted temporary asylum to Haitians who were in the country without proper legal documents at the time of the quake.

Clinton also stressed US determination to help Haitians fleeing their capital for relatively safer areas in the countryside.

"We also know that so many people are leaving Port-au-Prince into the surrounding countryside. We're trying to get more aid out there, more shelter, food, medicine, certainly water," she said.

"People feel safer in the countryside and we want to support them," she said.

AFP: US will turn back Haitian boat people: Clinton