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RightlessnessTestimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II$
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A. Naomi Paik

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626314

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626314.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Just to Stay Alive

Just to Stay Alive

Haitian Refugees and Guantánamo’s Carceral Quarantine

(p.87) 3 Just to Stay Alive

A. Naomi Paik

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the refugee camp that indefinitely imprisoned HIV positive Haitian refugees fleeing the 1991 coup d’état against Jean Bertrand Aristide. Though officially granted asylum, they were excluded from the U.S. because of their infection with a feared disease. The chapter focuses its analysis on the records of a series of court cases that challenged U.S. state practices against them, Haitian Centers Council v. Sale (HCC). It argues that these refugees emerged from a nexus of historical threads that became entangled at this camp. Untangling these historical and discursive threads reveals how layered forms of subjugation—racism, xenophobia, economic and political violence, U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean, fears of contagion in general and of HIV/AIDS in particular—combined to produce the rightlessness of these imprisoned HIV-positive refugees. Once detained, indeterminacy defined their rightless condition, as they became suspended in a space of limbo created by the camp’s geographical location between the U.S. and Haiti, its ambiguous situation between Cuban and U.S. legal regimes, the refugees’ ambivalent asylum status, and the indefinite detention of their imprisonment.

Keywords:   Haitian refugees, HIV/AIDS, Haitian Program, Haitian Centers Council v. Sale, Haitian Centers Council v. McNary, Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, Guantánamo, biopolitics, racism, U.S. imperialism, Haiti

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