This month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services began sending out invitations for a new Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRP). The HFRP, though limited, will provide about 7,350 beneficiaries the opportunity to wait for their visas with their families in the US. Concerns with implementation of HFRP include address changes and fees for applicants but advocates, like IJDH’s Steven Forester, are working to make the process as smooth as possible.
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Hope for Haitian Families Under New U.S. Immigration Program
Tricia McCarter, Potent Magazine
March 17, 2015
A new reunification program to allow the Haitian relatives of eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to apply for early entrance to the United States began this year, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced last October that it would begin offering certain select beneficiaries currently residing in Haiti, an invitation to apply for an immigration visa two years before their visa dates were current. A similar program offered to Cuban families began in 2007.
Ever since the January 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people and left millions of people displaced, an organization called the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, says it has continuously worked to get a reunification program for Haiti off the ground.
“We generated over 80 items of support during the ensuing nearly five years,” said Steven Forester, Immigration Policy Coordinator at the IJDH. “All urging [President Obama] to create such a program to save lives, reunite families, and help Haiti recover by generating a new source of remittances back to Haiti.”
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