MIAMI -- In his last appearance in Miami Thursday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson told Haitian refugees Miami is two cities -- one marked by the festive Orange Bowl parade and the other fenced in by barbed wire.
Jackson made his remarks to 587 Haitian refugees at the Krome Avenue detention center on the fringe of the Everglades 18 miles west of Miami.
'Today Miami is a tale of two cities,' he said, before checking out of his hotel to end a three-day visit.
'One is flourishing in wealth and the Orange Bowl parade. Another city is a concentration camp -- hemmed in by barbed wire fence, swampland, poisonous snakes and alligators. No human should be treated like this.'
It was the second time in as many days Jackson had gone to the Krome refugee camp to focus attention on the plight of Haiti's 'boat people.'
Since his arrival in Miami Tuesday night, he has been demanding the refugees be released into the custody of relatives or friends or to church groups while they await a decision on their refugee status.
'Let us go home. Let us be with our families again. Haitians are in jail but the jail will not break your spirit,' said Jackson, the founder of the Chicago-based Operation PUSH.
'We are appealing to this nation to close this concentration camp. There are churches, there are Haitians and there are blacks willing to sponsor Haitians. The idea that these people have to be locked up is not so.'
As his speech was translated in the Haitians' native Creole, they broke into applause and cheers.
'We will not be free until you are free. We were on the early boat, you were on a late boat,' Jackson said.
Jackson accused the government of a double standard in that it is justly concerned about the oppressed in Poland, but chooses to ignore the Haitians who also suffer under a repressive regime.
'The Statue of Liberty must welcome Haitian people as it welcomes European people,' he said. 'The State Department has two separate rules for Haitians and Europeans.'