Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Hastings Renews Call for Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

October 4, 2012
Contact: Lale Mamaux 
Phone: (202) 225-1313
www.alceehastings.house.gov
(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) sent the following letter to President Obama urging the administration to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program.  This program would allow Haitians with approved family based visa petitions to come to the United States while awaiting their visas. (Please find below and attached a copy of the letter).

 

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
 

Dear Mr. President,

In a letter dated July 10, 2012, I urged you to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program that would allow Haitians with approved family based visa petitions to come to the United States while they await their visas.  Since that time, your administration has renewed Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, yet has failed to provide a response explaining the lack of a family reunification program.

As the extension of TPS shows, Haiti is far from recovering from the January 2010 earthquake and remains plagued by a stagnant economy, crumbling infrastructure, and poor health conditions.  Yet, there are approximately 112,000 Haitians with approved visa petitions who are forced to languish in Haiti for no other reason than arbitrary per country limits.  These individuals have already had their petitions approved and have family willing and able to support them upon their arrival in the United States.  In addition to simply being able to leave the island, they would also be able to work and send back remittances to further aid in Haiti’s recovery.

Such a program is not unprecedented, as Cubans currently benefit from a similar program created in 2007 by the Department of Homeland Security and renewed by your administration.  Additionally, it requires no congressional action and stands to improve the lives of thousands of Haitians.  It is simply the right thing to do.

Once again, I urge you to direct your administration to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program so that the thousands of Haitians who have already been approved can join their families in the United States and work to actively assist in Haiti’s recovery.  Thank you for your consideration of this matter, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Alcee L. Hastings

Member of Congress

Cc:

The Honorable Janet Napolitano

Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

 

The Honorable Hillary Clinton

Secretary, U.S. Department of State

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

 

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Click HERE to See the Original Letter

Click HERE to Read More about Family Reunification

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