Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

U.S. Plan to Deport Haitians Raises Fairness Questions

September 22’s U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy change – resuming noncriminal Haiti deportations to Haiti (for the first time since the 2010 earthquake) despite continued unstable conditions there – shocked and disappointed Haitian Americans. It also renewed questions about the fairness of DHS’ Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP). Renewing deportations can only be destabilizing, since Haiti is in no position to receive additional deportees. Meanwhile, as of June 30, only 1,952 beneficiaries had been approved under HFRP, which was created in part to generate additional remittances to help Haiti recover. (In contrast, DHS has welcomed over 100,000 under its Cuban FRP.) The low HFRP number is due to DHS’s arbitrary limitation of eligibility to beneficiaries already within at most three years of getting their visas, although the approved wait list extends to about 13 years. DHS should expand HFRP to include those further years back on the wait […]

New U.S. Immigration Policy Will Turn Haitians Away

After an arduous journey across several countries, during which they often face physical and sexual abuse, Haitians will soon be detained at the U.S. border before being deported. Since the 2010 earthquake, the U.S. had stopped non-criminal deportations of Haitians but now, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that the policy will change. Right now, it seems that many Haitians are continuing on their journey to the US border but it is likely that those on their way may start finding alternate paths into the country to get around the new restriction. IJDH Immigration Policy Coordinator Stevne Forester is quoted in this article. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Uncertainty for Haitians in Tijuana Sandra Dibble, The San Diego Union-Tribune September 23, 2016 Hundreds of Haitians in Tijuana preparing to present themselves to U.S. officials at the San Ysidro […]

Haitian Family Reunification Provides Hope for About 7000 People

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. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. 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 […]

Many Set to Immigrate Through Haitian Family Reunification

This article describes a couple who were part of just a small Haitian community when they first moved to Fort Pierce, FL. Now, the growing population of Haitians will likely grow even more as the Obama administration has agreed to implement a Haitian Family reunification program starting in 2015. IJDH Immigration Policy Coordinator Steve Forester, and others, describe why this program is so important for both Haiti and the US. An excerpt is below. Click HERE for the full text. More Haitians make Tampa Bay area their home José Patiño Girona, The Tampa Tribune October 26, 2014 … Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will oversee the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program to more quickly unify Haitians who are here and their families who stayed behind. The program makes it easier for Haitians living […]

Finally, a Haitian Family Reunification Program!

This editorial reflects the years of persistent advocacy which yielded Friday’s DHS announcement that it will implement early next year a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. Calls for this program date to January 2010, nearly five years ago.  The program is limited: only DHS-approved beneficiaries whose visa priority dates will become current within two years will be eligible, while some are on wait lists of up to 12 years in Haiti.  But it’s a start, and in coming months we will monitor its implementation and seek to expand its coverage. Click HERE for the original article. Finally, Mr. President… Miami Herald October 19, 2014 Here’s what the Editorial Board said two years after a cataclysmic earthquake turned Port-au-Prince and much of the island to rubble, killing hundreds of thousands: “President Obama has failed to do the one thing in his power that […]

DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Program!

The Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will implement a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP), starting in early 2015. This HFRPP will let thousands of approved Haitian beneficiaries promptly enter the U.S. if they are within two years of their visa priority dates.  IJDH, with Haitian American leaders and others nationwide, has led a years-long effort to win this program’s creation to save lives and help Haiti recover.  While the program is more limited than needed, thousands should benefit, and we will monitor its implementation and seek its expansion in coming months. Click HERE for the original article. Obama to expedite U.S. entry for thousands of Haitians Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald October 17, 2014 Haitians eligible to receive green cards in two years soon will be able to wait it out in the United States rather than […]

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