Hastings Urges President to Create Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) sent the following letter to President Obama urging the administration to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. This program would allow Haitians with approved family based visa petitions to come to the United States while awaiting their visas. (Please find below and attached a copy of the letter).
July 10, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I write to express strong support for the creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program that would allow Haitians with approved family based visa petitions to come to the United States while they await their visas.
As you know, there are approximately 112,000 Haitians with approved visa petitions who, because of arbitrary per country limits, are being forced to wait several years before they may legally join their families in the United States. Such a program is not unprecedented. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security created a similar program for Cubans that has been renewed by your administration. I am simply asking that Haitians be afforded the same treatment.
Haiti is only beginning to recover from the 2010 earthquake and is still plagued by a stagnant economy, crumbling infrastructure, and poor health conditions. Rather than languishing in the earthquake ravaged nation, many of those who will benefit from a family reunification program would be able to work and send back remittances which are vital to Haiti's recovery.
These individuals have already had their petitions approved and have family willing and able to support them when they arrive in the United States. Additionally, over 15,000 of them are children and spouses of legal permanent residents. The creation of this program requires no congressional action and stands to improve the lives of thousands of Haitians. It is simply unjust to expect them to wait out this process in what remains a country in crisis.
Once again, I urge you to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program so that the thousands of Haitians who have already been approved can join their families in the United States and actively assist in Haiti's recovery. Thank you for consideration on this matter, and I look forward to working with you as we continue to assist our Haitian neighbors.
Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress