March 8, 2010
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
We write to respectfully ask that you take additional steps to address the scope of the current humanitarian crisis in Haiti. We commend the significant humanitarian actions already taken by the Department of Homeland Security since the January 12th earthquake in Haiti. However, with the full magnitude of the long-term devastation from the earthquake becoming clear, we believe the Department should take further action by utilizing humanitarian parole for Haitians with pending family applications
We are specifically asking that the Department consider using its parole authority with respect to Haitians with family-based immigrant visa petitions who are waiting for an immigrant visa to become available. This action would mirror the existing Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP) that was created by DHS under the Bush Administration in 2007. The CFRP allows Cuban nationals who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions to come to the United States rather than remain in Cuba while awaiting a visa.
An exercise of parole authority would allow Haitians with an already approved, legal method of entering the United States to be reunited with close family members in the United States while awaiting visa availability. Expediting family reunification through safe and orderly channels would bring families together safely without the risk of a dangerous maritime migration, and would also allow for greater remittances to be sent to aid Haiti’s recovery.
We appreciate your attention to the plight of Haitians in the aftermath of this tragedy and look forward to your response.
John Conyers, Jr., Member of Congress
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress
Howard L. Berman, Member of Congress
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Member of Congress
Zoe Lofgren, Member of Congress
Mario Diaz-Balart, Member of Congress
Yvette D. Clarke, Member of Congress
Anh “Joseph” Cao, Member of Congress