Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

U.S. urged to allow Haitians in faster


Leaders of Florida’s Haitian community want President Barack Obama to speed up the timetable for immigrants from the island.

The idea is to allow Haitians approved to move to the United States to come earlier so they can get jobs and help foot the bill for Haiti’s recovery from January’s earthquake, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post said Sunday.

There are currently about 55,000 Haitians who have family in the United States and have been approved by U.S. officials for emigration; however the quotas on immigration mean it could take 11 years for some of them to get off the quake-ravaged island.

“These are people who will be coming here eventually anyway because they have Department of Homeland Security permission, but that is only if they survive what is going on in Haiti,” said Steve Forester, an attorney for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Haitian activists insist increasing the number of arrivals would result in more money being sent home to family members in Haiti struggling to rebuild, the newspaper said. Activists said the impact on social services in Florida would be minimal because they would have relatives to help them out and are not inclined as a group to seek out government aid.

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