CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Weds. Aug. 12, 2009: Advocates are pressing the Department of Homeland Security to release two Haitian parents, held in detention since May this year, to bury their 8-month-old daughter.
FANM, Inc., a leading social-advocacy agency serving South Florida since 1991, want Chandeline Leonard, 32, and Lucsene Augustin, 26, released to bury their child, Luana.
The baby was swept away by strong currents as her parents tried to stay afloat when the boat in which they were trying to enter the U.S., capsized and sank off Boynton Beach, some 60 miles north of Miami.
The youngest drowning victim to die, the little baby girl remains unclaimed in a morgue in Miami.
Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami, `These parents are in need of immediate intervention in order to deal with the trauma of losing their baby girl. `Thus, as a matter of human decency, they should have been released in order to bury their little baby girl, to deal with their immigration cases, and in order to be with their family and friends who are prepared to support them as they begin the necessary healing process.`
The DHS has so far failed to respond to the humanitarian parole request filed in June 2009 but FANM, Inc. is urging the agency to immediately rectify this wrong by releasing the parents.
The parents have so far been transferred to U.S. Marshals Service custody, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Nicole Navas.