The Sale decision allowed the U.S. government to capture fleeing Haitian refugees before they reached the shores of the United States and to return them to Haiti, where they possibly faced political persecution.
During the early 1990’s, political instability and poverty caused large numbers of Haitians to attempt to flee to the United States in makeshift boats. In response, both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations pursued a policy of intercepting the refugees at sea and returning them to Haiti. In 1992, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that the policy violated the
The Supreme Court upheld the government’s policy by an 8-1 margin. Writing for the majority, Justice
Legomsky, Stephen. Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy. New York: Foundation Press, 2005. Loescher, Gil, and John Scanlan. Calculated Kindness: Refugees and America’s Half-Open Door. New York: Free Press, 1986.
Haitian boat people
Supreme Court, U.S.