U.S. Citizen Arrested for Housing Program
- Wednesday, May 23, 2012 10:08 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - Lillian C. Miller a citizen of the United States that was administrating a housing program for at least 15,000 people was arrested on Monday morning at Delmas 5 by the Government Commissioner on charges of not acquiring a residence permit and documents authorizing her activities.
According to an article in Le Nouvelliste, a dozen women gathered in front of the Delmas 5 office building of the JJL Miller Foundation, the organization of Lillian Miller, to protest the arrest.
"Since her arrest, I have not slept. This is wickedness. 'Blan' (foreignors) do not lie, I believe in this lady," said a woman in her fifties.
Miller is African American and according to volunteers of the JJL Miller Foundation, 16,8000 homes are expected to be built in the locality with construction beginning in July. Nearly 15,000 people have already signed up to receive the housing.
Arbitrary and Illegal Arrest?
Relatives and collaborators of Liliann Miller have described the arrest as "arbitrary and illegal".
"Lillian Miller did not violate the law of Haitian immigration, because she has not spent three months in the country. She returned April 8, 2012," said Gary Spinphil, a close associate of Miller who presented documents showing authorization to operate the housing program.
Fritzner Exalus, a vice president of a camp in Delmas 2, is one of 52 volunteers of the housing program. A father of five, Exalus, expressed confidence in the project.
"As a development official, I found myself in this program. The lady [Miller] has a very good vision, especially for the poorest, " he said. "We are ready to fail with her through this program. But we are confident that we will not fail," said Exalus.
Another camp official from Delmas 33 also did not conceal his displeasure with the arrest of the head of JLL Foundation.
According Junior Zamy, the JJL Foundation did not require a fee for registering potential beneficiaries of the housing program and this was a "good sign". "There are people who come every morning from Leogane, Boutilier... to work as volunteers in this program. This is because we believe this is a program that will be successful in the future," said Zamy.
"This is a lady that the authorities should supervise rather than persecute. Her goal is to help Haiti. This is a truly charitable person," continued the Zamy.
The idea of the project is to first acquire the registrations, then go ask for money. But, according to Gary Spinphil, the process of purchasing land for housing has already begun and some money has already been paid.
"Indeed, the process is underway. Pieces were filed to that effect," said the notary in charge of this case. The land cost $2.7 million.
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Source: Le Nouvelliste