The Department of Homeland Security has approved family-based visa petitions for 112,000 Haitians who nevertheless remain on a wait list of about 3 to 11 years in Haiti, where many may not survive. DHS should promptly reunite these families beginning with the most vulnerable or deserving, like 15,000 minor children and spouses of permanent residents whose wait is nearly three years.
30,000 persons have been paroled since 2009 under DHS’s Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program; a similar Haitian program makes sense. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban, Indochinese, and Kosovar refugees have been paroled into the U.S. over the years.
Please read and co-sign the letter to the President at by clicking on “petition” or “Add My Name Now”! This is a national petition campaign — signatories may live anywhere in the United States — and we are grateful to Massachusetts State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry for having written it. The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti has 572 signatures after just one week and are aiming for 5,000 to 10,000!
Senators Rubio and Nelson and House Foreign Affairs Chair Ros-Lehtinen are among 90 Congresspersons who support this goal.
The Center for Global Development, in “Migration as a Tool for Disaster Recovery: A Case Study on U.S. Policy Options for Post-Earthquake Haiti,” June 2011, urges DHS to create a Haitian FRPP, cites the Cuban program as precedent and notes:
- Rather than waiting 3 to 11 years for a visa in Haiti, beneficiaries could be paroled into the United States where they can be reunited with family and have employment authorization.
- The proposal has merit not only for the humanitarian purpose it would serve but also to enable Haitians to send more remittances home and foster economic development with greater speed.
- Instituting a family reunification parole program for Haitians is simpler than it may appear, since it requires no congressional action.
- The Cuban program’s rationale of saving lives at sea and providing for orderly migration applies with equal force to Haiti.
- No one would get a “green card” any sooner — like the Cubans, they’d just be able to wait for them here w/their families rather than in Haiti.