America's Double Standard?

haitian boat with refugees CBS

More than 100 angry Haitian Americans protested outside the U.S. Immigration office in Miami Monday, criticizing what they called America's double standard.

Over the weekend a boat packed with 400 Haitian, Dominicans and Chinese illegal immigrants ran aground a mile off the Florida coast. But unlike America's policy toward Cuban illegal immigrants, all on board this boat will be sent back to their own countries, reports CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

"It's a wonderful thing when people will sacrifice to come across these dangerous waters to make America their home," said Bishop Victor Curry, of the Miami NAACP. "But it seems for some reason for our Haitian brothers and sisters there's a double standard."

And it is a standard even South Florida's Cuban community questioned Monday.

Despite U.S.-Cuban policy that allows any illegal who reaches land to stay in America, the case of 6-year-old Elian Gonzaels is still unresolved. He's the little boy found floating in an inner tube Thanksgiving Day. The Immigration and Naturalization Service says his status is still undecided.

"This has always been an immigrant country," said Jose Basulto, ##########. "There is more people in the world than there were before, and with that fact of life, the U.S. has to learn to live with it."

"We will tell them one more time that this boy should come back and he'll come back to a very loving situation," said Joan Brown Campbell of the U.S. National Council of Churches. part of the delegation to Cuba.

These two very different incidents highlight one big question America will have to confront as a new wave of refugees come into the U.S. in
a new century: is there any room left in the country that once welcomed the world in centuries past?


©2000 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.