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Pursuant to Executive Order 12,807 of May 23, 1992, the “Kennebunkport Order,” United States Coast Guard cutters have been intercepting boatloads of Haitian citizens in international waters off the coast of Haiti and turning them over to the Haitian authorities in Port-au-Prince. No questions are being asked to determine if any of these citizens are bona fide refugees fleeing persecution. All are simply returned.

Does the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (Protocol), to which the United States is a party, permit the U.S. government to do this? That question is now before the United States Supreme Court. Regarding United States obligations under the Protocol, the United States government claims that the United States may seize refugees and return them to a country of persecution, as long as such refugees are not within United States borders. This Article examines the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Convention) and the Protocol in light of that claim.

Publication Citation

7 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 67 (1993)