Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

U.S. Con­fer­ence of May­ors Urges the Pres­i­dent To Imme­di­ately Instruct The U.S.Department Of Home­land Secu­rity To Ini­ti­ate A Hait­ian Fam­ily Reuni­fi­ca­tion Parole Pro­gram

 Adopted June 16, 2012

URGING THE PRESIDENT TO IMMEDIATELY INSTRUCT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO INITIATE A HAITIAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM

1. WHEREAS, on June 14, 2010, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted Resolution No. 43 “Urging parole for all Haitian beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions and expedited consideration and approval of all pending immigrant visa petitions;” and

2. WHEREAS, the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not yet implemented a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (FRPP) to expeditiously parole into the United States all or some of the most vulnerable and/or deserving of the now 112,000 Haitian beneficiaries of DHS-approved immigrant visa petitions; and

3. WHEREAS, the facts otherwise stated in Resolution No. 43 remain accurate and the need for action is more urgent than ever given still-dire conditions in Haiti; and

4. WHEREAS, all of the 112,000 approved Haitian beneficiaries, by definition are “legal,” will eventually join their families in the United States, but unconscionably remain on a waiting list of nearly three to 11 years in Haiti; and

5. WHEREAS, while waiting in Haiti, the beneficiaries may not survive, given life-threatening conditions of extreme poverty, insecurity and misery; and

6. WHEREAS, in 2007, the Bush Administration created a Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program under which since 2009 alone over 30,000 approved Cuban beneficiaries have been paroled; and

7. WHEREAS, U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Senator John Kerry, respectively chairs of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and nearly 100 other U.S. Senators and Representatives have urged DHS to create a Haitian FRPP to “mirror” the Cuban program; and

8. WHEREAS, at least 14 editorial boards have urged this program including the Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Antonio Express News, News day, Star-Ledger, Palm Beach Post, and the Washington Post; and

9. WHEREAS, Haitian-American leaders nationwide have unanimously and repeatedly urged the White House to heed these calls and to instruct DHS to create a Haitian FRPP, or at least to begin expeditiously paroling into the United States all or some of the most vulnerable and deserving, beginning with all or some of the minor children and spouses of legal permanent residents whose waiting time is nearly three years in Haiti; and

10. WHEREAS, the White House and DHS are aware of this broad support from political, editorial, municipal, and Haitian-American leaders, but so far has failed to act,

11. NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to immediately establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program.

 

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