Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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. […]

Despite Improvements, Much Yet to Be Done in Haiti

There have been a lot of accomplishments in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake but there is still an awful lot that still needs to be done, including elections, stopping forced evictions from IDP camps, rebuilding government ministries that collapsed in the quake. Out of the rubble Editorial, Miami Herald January 11, 2014 Four long and painful years after a cataclysmic earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince and much of Haiti, the country is emerging from the depths of the disaster. Rebuilding is replacing recovery. A measure of order is replacing the chaos of the early years. Most of the rubble is gone. Where once the capital’s streets and surrounding areas housed 1,500 makeshift camps for about 1.5 million refugees, the numbers were down considerably near year’s end: 175,000 remained in 306 camps. Ten new hurricane shelters are being built, the country boasts 180-plus miles […]

Wadner Oge Letter December 20, 2011

Dear Friend, My name is Wadner Oge and I am an Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) volunteer working on the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Project (“HFRPP”). I became involved with IJDH because I believe in its advocacy work using the rule of law to fight injustice against poor Haitians. After the January 12th earthquake, I was looking for an organization to join as a volunteer that promotes social justice in Haiti, especially focusing on the rule of law. I was unable to find one until I came across Brian Concannon’s name while reading a Miami Herald article online about Haiti. In that article, Mr. Concannon was quoted talking about human rights abuses against Haitian prisoners, especially at the Haitian Penitencier. Since then, I have become a daily reader of the Miami Herald online to get current news […]

Public Radio International Highlights Fight for Haitian Family Reunification

IJDH’s own Steven Forester was featured on PRI’s The World yesterday, talking about the urgent need for Haitian family reunification. Why Some Haitians Are Still Waiting on Family-based Visas to Come to the US Amy Bracken, The World September 18, 2013 After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the US waived visa requirements for Haitian children being adopted by Americans. More than 1,000 kids were flown to the US to live with their new moms and dads. But what about the children in Haiti whose biological parents were living and working in the US? Countless Haitian families were split between the two countries, and reunification of those families is an ongoing struggle. Such is the case for Carmine Pierre. On a recent afternoon, she sits on the couch in the bare one-bedroom she shares with her sister outside Boston, scratching away at […]

Hastings on the Third Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake

January 11, 2013   Contact: Lale Mamaux   Phone: (202) 225-1313   Hastings on the Third Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake   (Fort Lauderdale) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) issued the following statement on the third anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010: “On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by one of the largest earthquakes in its entire history, killing tens of thousands and causing immeasurable damage to its infrastructure.  Within hours, the international community mobilized its resources and were on the ground to provide lifesaving aid to the Haitian people.  Despite these laudable efforts, however, Haiti remains plagued by a stagnant economy, widespread poverty, and outbreaks of cholera.  Furthermore, in the past year, a spring drought and two storms during hurricane season resulted in more than $170 million in crop losses, endangering an additional 1.5 […]

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 […]

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