NAACP Letter on Family Reunification

WASHINGTON BUREAU ∙ NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE1156 15TH STREET, NW SUITE 915 ∙ WASHINGTON, DC 20005 ∙ P (202) 463-2940 ∙ F (202) 463-2953
E-MAIL: WASHINGTONBUREAU@NAACPNET.ORG ∙ WEB ADDRESS WWW.NAACP.ORG

January 11, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

RE: CREATION OF A HAITIAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM

 

Dear Mr. President;

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 12, 2013, marks the third anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake which struck Haiti. On behalf of the NAACP, our nation’s oldest, largest and most widely-recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization, I strongly urge you to mark this dark day in the history of our hemisphere by creating a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (FRPP) to expedite parole into the U.S. of many of the 106,000 beneficiaries of

DHS-approved family-based visa petitions. Such a program would be akin to the Cuban FRPP, under which tens of thousands of Cuban refugees have been allowed to join their families in the United States while awaiting their green card. Currently many of these individuals are forced to languish on wait lists in Haiti for any time between 2.5 to 11 years.

A Haitian FRPP would save lives, speed recovery and serve our values. Everyone affected is already considered “legal” and will come eventually, if they survive, to supporting families. Furthermore, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have said cost is not a concern; establishment of a Haitian FRPP is clearly consistent with post-quake non-medical Haitian parole experience. As you know, no congressional action is needed to establish this program, nor would anyone get a green card any sooner. Establishment of a Haitian FRPP would simply allow these men, women, and children to wait for the green cards in the United States rather than in Haiti, and if applicable they could apply for work permits so their remittances can help Haiti recover.

While it is the position of the NAACP to allow all qualified individuals to participate in the proposed Haitian FRPP, we would also be supportive of starting with the approximately 11,715 minor children and spouses of Legal Permanent Residents who have already been approved for entry into the United States. This would be a terrific show of good will and clearly a good way to establish this sorely needed program.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter; I look forward to your quick action and your response. Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at (202) 463-2940.

Sincerely,

Hilary O. Shelton
Director, NAACP Washington Bureau &
Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy

Cc: Janet Napolitano
Secretary
U.S. Department of homeland Security

 

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