U.S. Processing of Haitian Asylum Seekers

T-NSIAD-92-25: Published: Apr 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 1992.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the U.S. program for interdicting and screening Haitian refugees, focusing on screening and administrative processing problems at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. GAO noted that: (1) from 1981 through September 1991, approximately 24,600 Haitians were interdicted at sea enroute to the United States by the U.S. Coast Guard; (2) 28 Haitians were found to have credible asylum claims and were brought to the United States, and the rest were returned to Haiti; (3) INS officers conduct screening interviews at Guantanamo Bay, and those refugees determined to have creditable claims are allowed to go to the United States; (4) weaknesses in the administrative procedures that followed interviews mistakenly caused the repatriation of 54 Haitians; (5) in some cases, asylum seekers were erroneously sent back to Haiti or the United States, but the numbers understate the problem; (6) the problems identified occurred because INS made clerical errors in data entry of screening decisions, and did not timely record family reunification decisions; (7) a factor that contributed to the processing problems was that several federal agencies were involved in the operations, but there was no designated lead agency responsible for the operation; (8) about half of the 54 repatriated individuals could be in jeopardy in Haiti; (9) the U.S. Embassy in Haiti conducted over 500 investigations of claims of persecution among repatriated Haitians and found no substantiating evidence; and (10) the Guantanamo Bay processing center has been closed, and interdicted Haitians are being screened aboard Coast Guard cutters.

Oct 12, 2017

Oct 4, 2017

Sep 28, 2017

Sep 19, 2017

Sep 13, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

  • international icon: Art Explosion

    Diplomatic Security:

    Key Oversight Issues
    GAO-17-681SP: Published: Sep 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2017.

Sep 5, 2017

Aug 29, 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here