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After the September 30, 1991 military coup in Haiti toppled the democratically elected government of Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, thousands of Haitians took to the high seas, attempting to flee political persecution in their country. The United States government has responded with a series of measures designed to prevent the Haitian refugees from reaching U.S. borders. This Article provides an overview of the Haitian refugee crisis and discusses Haitian Centers Council v. McNary, a challenge to the U.S. government's treatment of Haitian refugees. Part I provides background information on the Haitian exodus and the Haitian Centers Council v. McNary lawsuit. Part II argues that the Second Circuit in Haitian Centers Council v. McNary correctly ruled that aliens held in U.S. custody outside the mainland United States possess Fifth Amendment rights. Part III explains the Executive's duty not to return refugees to a country where they face political persecution. Part IV discusses Congress's plenary power in immigration matters and the courts' authority to review executive actions in this realm.
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