Tuesday, March 6, 2012
From the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Urgent Action Required
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved family-based visa petitions for 112,000 Haitians who are on a wait list in Haiti of about 3 to 11 years. It should promptly reunite these families beginning with the most vulnerable, like the 15,000 minor children and spouses of permanent residents whose wait time is nearly three years.
Massachusetts State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry has created a letter/petition to the President to expedite Haitian family reunification on which she is seeking 5,000 co-signers. We urge you to sign and broadly disseminate the petition!
The U. S. has paroled hundreds of thousands of Cuban, Indochinese, and Kosovar refugees, and DHS has a Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program under which 30,000 approved beneficiaries have been paroled into the U.S. since 2009. A similar Haitian program makes sense.
The Center for Global Development, in "Migration as a Tool for Disaster Recovery: A Case Study on U.S. Policy Options for Post-Earthquake Haiti," June 2011, urges DHS to create a Haitian FRPP, cites the Cuban program as precedent and notes:
Rather than waiting 3 to 11 years for a visa in Haiti, beneficiaries could be paroled into theUnited States where they can be reunited with family and have employment authorization.
The proposal has merit not only for the humanitarian purpose it would serve but also to enable Haitians to send more remittances home and foster economic development with greater speed.
Instituting a family reunification parole program for Haitians is simpler than it may appear, since it requires no congressional action.
The Cuban program’s rationale of saving lives at sea and providing for orderly migration applies with equal force to Haiti.
No one would get a "green card" any sooner -- like the Cubans, they'd just be able to wait for them here w/their families rather than in Haiti.
Access State Representative Dorcena Forry’s petition at http://lindadorcenaforry.org/haiti-action-updates/ or co-sign a copy! Review bipartisan support for a Haitian FRPP at http://ijdh.org/immigration-advocacy and contact our Immigration Policy Coordinator, Steve Forester, [email protected], to actively join this campaign!
The IJDH Team