Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Can Haiti and DR Overcome their Bloody History?

This article outlines the rocky history between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR), which plays a major role in the current citizenship/deportation crisis in DR. It also discusses the natural economic partnership that comes from sharing an island. Making an example of President Obama’s decision to “cut loose the shackles of the [US’] past” with Cuba, the author asks whether Haiti and DR can come to a similar agreement. Dominican Republic and Haiti: Is it Time for an Island Reunification? Rachel Décoste, HuffPost Canada June 22, 2015 To keep the peace, one might avoid pairing certain nationals together: Argentina versus Britain, Japan versus Korea, Armenia and Turkey, India versus Pakistan,Russia versus Ukraine. There’s one lesser-known international squabble that’s been festering for centuries: Haiti versus the Dominican Republic. This week, binational tensions are heightened once again as the Dominican Republic threatens […]

Haitian Diaspora Leaders Urge Haitian Family Reunification Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Forester, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, steveforester@aol.com, 786-877-6999 (English, Haitian Creole) 73 Haitian American Diaspora Groups and Leaders Urge President Obama to Create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (Miami, August 18, 2014)—In an unprecedented demonstration of unity and urgency, Haitian American organizations and leaders from across the nation and political spectrum urged President Obama “to instruct the Department of Homeland Security to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP) now to save lives and speed Haiti’s recovery.”  Forty-three (43) diaspora groups and 30 other diaspora political, religious, professional and social leaders wrote urging the President to finally implement this long-proposed and “easy-to-implement humanitarian and recovery measure.” “DHS as of November 1, 2013 had approved family-based immigrant visa petitions for 109,489 Haitians who remain on wait lists of up to more than 12 […]

Diaspora Haitian Family Reunification Letter to President Obama

August 15, 2014 President Barack Obama, The White House Dear Mr. President: We write as Haitian-American diaspora leaders and organizations to urge you to instruct the Department of Homeland Security to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP) now to save lives and speed Haiti’s recovery.  We believe this needed and easy-to-implement humanitarian and recovery measure would be an excellent way to fulfill your State of the Union pledge to act administratively when appropriate. DHS as of November 1, 2013 had approved family-based immigrant visa petitions for 109,489 Haitians who remain on wait lists of up to more than 12 years in Haiti, where many may have died and all are at risk given cholera and other conditions.  Since Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, a broad array of support has urged you to create an HFRPP, like the ongoing Cuban […]

Miami Archbishop Supports Haitian Family Reunification

Archbishop of Miami Thomas G.Wenski wrote an excellent op-ed urging that DHS immediately create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, a course strongly urged in the bipartisan May 30 letter to the President by 63 Congresspersons including ranking Foreign Affairs committee and Immigration subcommittee members, ten of their committee colleagues and the members of the South Florida delegation. Create plan for Haitians equal to one for Cubans Thomas Wenski, Sun Sentinel May 31, 2014 One example of how our present immigration system is broken are the numbers of people who have been already approved to immigrate legally to the United States but who languish waiting approval to travel to the U.S. Some are told they may have to wait 12 years for their number to be called. Right now the Department of Homeland Security has approved family-based immigrant visa petitions […]

Congress Members Urge Obama to Reunite Haitian Families

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, along with a few other Congress members, has sent a letter to President Obama passionately supporting Haitian Family Reunification. Though Cuba has had a Family Reunification program since 2007, Haiti still doesn’t have one and some Haitians approved for visas have been waiting over a decade to reunite with their families in the US! A Haitian Family Reunification Program would also boost both the US and Haitian economies, since those coming to the US would likely work and send money to relatives remaining in Haiti. Congresswoman Wilson leads effort to reunite Haitians families Special to the Times, The Miami Times May 1, 2014 On Monday Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) sent a passionate letter to President Barack Obama urging him to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program to promptly reunite families, foster economic development and save […]

Haitian Family Reunification Will Benefit Both Haiti and U.S.

This letter in the Miami Herald, regarding an article on the desperate sea voyages in which many Haitians risk and often lose their lives, urges a neglected policy long championed by IJDH: creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program like the ongoing Cuban one.  It would alleviate at least some of the pressure leading to these deadly trips by speeding up entry into the U.S. of 110,00 Haitians, still on years-long wait lists in Haiti, who are beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions which DHS has already approved. Create long-delayed Haitian family-reunification program Marleine Bastien & Steve Forester, Miami Herald January 28, 2014 Jacqueline Charles’ excellent Jan. 28 article, Deadly voyages devastate Haitian island, underscores the need to fix a flawed policy. The Department of Homeland Security has approved family-based visa petitions for 110,000 Haitians on years-long wait lists in Haiti. […]

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