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"[Without] a strong counter-drug stance, ...
"[Without] a strong counter-drug stance, Cuba would be a prime area for drug smugglers, but its efforts are very effective," Louis Orsini, the U.S. Coast Guard Senior Maritime Law Enforcement Advisor, told BBC report Sarah Rainsford.
There's absolutely no question that when we are on the water, we have the authority, and we might have the authority onshore as well," but the Coast Guard wants to clear up some lingering uncertainties about its authority on land, said Louis Orsini, a law enforcement specialist at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Coast Guard's legal authority in U.S. territorial waters is delineated in U.S. Code.
Migration Policy Institute
Panelists: Louis Orsini, Senior Maritime Law Enforcement Advisor, United States Coast Guard; Andrew Schoenholtz, Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University; and Barbara Strack, Chief, Refugee Affairs Division, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
MPI | Events | Event Announcement
Panelists included: Grainne O'Hara, Legal Officer in the Protection Policy and Legal Advice Section of the Division of International Protection at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); Peter Mares, journalist and Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; Lou Orsini , Assistant Chief in the Office of Law Enforcement of the US Coast Guard; Maria de Donato, Head of the Legal Office at the Italian Council for Refugees; and Guy Goodwin-Gill, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Oxford.
explained the procedures of the US Coast Guard
when intercepting migrants, primarily from Cuba and Haiti, at sea in the Caribbean.
explained that the Coast Guard monitors common migrant transit routes on the high seas.
Many of the questions during this session were directed to Lou Orsini, and concerned the practices of the US Coast Guard.
One audience member asked for his
response to reports of US mistreatment of Haitian migrants during repatriation to Haiti.
answered that in one instance US Embassy representatives were prevented from meeting migrants at the dock, as they normally would, because roads were blocked by a political protest.
further explained that a man who was shackled aboard a US Coast Guard
cutter had been creating a disturbance, and was restrained for safety reasons after physically resisting efforts to restore order.
stated that although he
was not present, the report he
was given indicated that while the man was unhappy to have to return to Haiti, he
did not show signs of fear of return.
Another audience member questioned whether it was true that Cuban, Haitian, and Chinese migrants were all treated differently.
explained that all Cuban migrants are read a statement explaining that they will be given a credible fear interview if they desire, Chinese migrants are given a written questionnaire asking why they have left China, and all other migrants are given a credible fear interview if they show or state a fear of return (the 'shout test').
He explained to another audience member that Creole interpreters are always available when needed.
Migration Policy Institute Podcasts » 2012 » October
US Coast Guard Senior Maritime Law Enforcement Advisor Louis Orsini discusses the logistics of interdiction at sea, including the process for identifying those who may fear persecution or torture; US Citizenship and Immigration Service's Refugee Affairs Division Chief Barbara Strack presents on USCIS's coordination with the Coast Guard, the protection screening for those interdicted at sea, and broader refugee screening and resettlement process; and Andrew Schoenholtz, Deputy Director at Georgetown's Institute for the Study of International Migration and Georgetown Law Professor, discusses his recent findings on asylum data.