Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Rep. Forry and Coalition Surpass Goal, Submitting More than 6,000 Petitions for Haitian Families

For Immediate Release
Date: June 6, 2012
Contact: Stephanie Keller, 617-722-2080

Rep. Forry and Coalition Surpass Goal,
Submitting More than 6,000 Petitions for Haitian Families

Coalition submits over 6,000 petitions to Secretary of Homeland Security urging
Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
Boston, MA— In closure of the month of May and Haitian Heritage Month, Representative Linda Dorcena Forry submitted over 6,000 petitions to Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, urging her to establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP).“Partners from across the Commonwealth worked diligently to gain support for this important petition from residents in Massachusetts and around the country,” stated Rep. Forry.  “We demonstrated that Haitians and friends of Haiti have not forgotten.”Rep. Forry officially launched the petition drive on January 30th at the Haitian Remembrance and Call to Action event at the State House which she co-hosted with Governor Deval Patrick to commemorate the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.  The goal of the event was not only to reflect but also focus on the country’s future and rally attendees to action.  Since that day, Rep. Forry has worked with her colleagues in government, Haitian organizations, spiritual leaders, students and advocates to gather support for the petition initiative.  After an intensive four months, they realized and surpassed their goal of 5,000 signatures and submitted over 6,000 signatures.  “We have reached this milestone, but we are not done yet.  We have and will continue the work to ensure accountability, transparency and justice in U.S. relations with Haiti,” said Rep. Forry.The petitions were mailed just weeks after Senator John Kerry passed legislation (H1016) in April, with support of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, requiring a detailed report on post-earthquake efforts in Haiti, including initiatives to prevent the spread of cholera.  While countries around the world have committed billions in relief aid to Haiti, including over $3 billion from the United States, the island has reeled from the loss of more than 300,000 people as a result of the earthquake and subsequent deteriorating health and safety conditions.  Despite the desperate situation, many thousands of Haitians already approved for visas are still waiting in Haiti.  The petition seeks to establish a parole program, especially for the children and the elderly, to reunite them with their families and wait for their residency in the U.S. rather than in Haiti.  This would be modeled after the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program already in place.For more on Rep. Forry’s petition drive and work on Haiti, visit www.lindadorcenaforry.org/haiti-action-updates/
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Click HERE To See Community HFRPP Letter to President Obama on January 30, 2012 in PDF
Click HERE  To See more Infor­ma­tion about IJDH’s Immi­gra­tion Rights Project

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