Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

MA Senators Markey and Forry Discuss Aid and Cholera Accountability at the State House

The week after Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti, Senators Ed Markey and Linda Dorcena Forry held a forum at the Massachusetts State House called “Eyes on Haiti.” In it, they discussed the response to Matthew, what Senator Markey had seen in his visit to Haiti after the hurricane, aid accountability, and justice for cholera. Senator Markey stated that he believes we are getting closer to justice for cholera, especially with the opportunity of Ban Ki-moon’s term ending soon, but the United Nations probably needs continued pressure to make it “do the right thing.” IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon discussed how the lack of accountability caused Hurricane Matthew to devastate Haiti much more than surrounding countries that were hit. The next forum is planned for the first week of December. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. […]

Haitian Family Reunification Will Soon Begin

After years of advocacy for its implementation, a limited version of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HRFPP) is set to begin on February 2, 2015. With that come scams and fees from people hoping to profit from applicants’ lack of familiarity with the regulations. To help prevent that, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, a State Representative and 2 City Councillors met with  members of the Haitian community in Boston to teach them what to look out for. While we are excited about this first step to HFRPP, we will also keep fighting for full implementation of the program. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haitian community briefed on ‘Family Reunification’ process Eliza Dewey, Dorchester Reporter January 29, 2015 Five years after a catastrophic earthquake rocked Haiti, the ongoing impacts of the disaster were evident last […]

President Obama should implement the “Most Effective Way” to help Haiti recover

By Steven Forester, Dorchester Reporter It took a 7.0 earthquake, one of the worst natural disasters in history, for the Obama Administration to grant Haitians Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which commentators long before said was merited due to four storms which devastated Haiti in 2008. Now an issue of equal importance requires administration action, one on which stalwart allies like Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry, Rep. Jim McGovern and other Commonwealth congressional delegation members can help. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program bringing thousands of beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions to the United States despite the visa backlog which keeps similarly- approved beneficiaries from Haiti and elsewhere waiting interminably back home. After the January 12 quake, former Reagan and Bush Administration official Elliot Abrams urged increasing legal […]

Children of the Quake: Young survivors learn in a new land

By Tara W. Merrigan, Dorchester Reporter Children of the Quake: Sherline Gustave, 18, survived Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake and joined family to live in Boston in February. She is one of many Haitian nationals now learning English through a special Boston Public School program. She is pictured above in a classroom at Hyde Park High School. Photo by Tara Merrigan Sherline Gustave, 18, slept on the streets of Port-au-Prince for weeks after January’s earthquake leveled her family’s home. “I felt the house shaking and it crumbled just as my family and I got outside,” said Gustave in her native Haitian Creole—translated to English by her teacher, Evelyn Prophete. “We [Gustave and her family members] were sleeping out in the street in the sun and even in the rain. Hoping to find a better life, Gustave and her sisters emigrated from […]

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