Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Geoffrey Jones


The Bush and Clinton Administrations' response to the exodus from Haiti that began with the overthrow of President Aristide presents constitutional as well as political problems. The Kennebunkport Order of May 1992 called for the forcible repatriation of Haitian refugees without first determining whether they were eligible for political asylum under United States and international law. This Note discusses the constitutionality of this Order. It first reviews Haitian history with an emphasis on the principal period of migration beginning in 1972. This is followed by a discussion of the litigation on behalf of Haitian refugees. The principal part of the note addresses whether there exists a right to due process prior to repatriation. The author examines property interests in valid asylum claims and agency regulations, interests in the participatory function of due process, and substantive due process as possible foundations of such a right.