All the Haitian Children to Leave Guantanamo Bay Camp by July 1
I would like to express my deep disappointment with the editorial "Let the Children In," June 1. It is factually incorrect and ignores the care and commitment of the many agencies involved in trying to deal compassionately with a complicated issue.
The United States government has one goal for these children: to resolve their cases in a manner that meets their "best interests" as determined by child-protection experts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This is a standard international practice. In general, this means that children should be reunited with their parents or closest relatives. The families of most of these children live in Haiti and not the US, as stated in the editorial. And many of the children are being returned to their homes in Haiti.
If UNHCR and other social service professionals determine that the closest family members reside in the United States, or if it is appropriate, the child will be resettled in the US with proper sponsorship. Twenty-six have been brought to the US and more will come. We are committed to ensuring that all of the children will be able to leave Guantanamo Bay by July 1.
Phyllis E. Oakley Washington
Assistant Secretary of State
US Department of State