Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Caribbean legislators welcome family reunification for Haitians

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 10:34 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct.19, CMC – Two Caribbean legislators in the United States have welcomed the implementation of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program for certain eligible Haitian family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents .

On Friday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the programme geared towards reuniting families will “promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States”.

Under this programme, USCIS said it will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to about two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“I want to commend the Department of Homeland Security on the development of this program, which will allow for the reunification of families that have been separated – in some instances for many years,” said US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday.

“The continued failure of Congress to enact – or even to debate – comprehensive immigration reform continues to separate parents from their children and husbands from their wives,” added Clarke in a joint statement with Michigan Congressman John Conyers.

“The wait must end,” Clarke declared. “I am hopeful that this programme will form the basis for a broader policy that will allow families from around the world to avoid unnecessary delays in reuniting here in the United States."

Conyers said the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to implement a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program will benefit everyone.

“Families who would otherwise be unnecessarily separated for years while awaiting the availability of an immigrant visa soon will be allowed to wait together,” he said. “Communities here and in Haiti will be strengthened.

Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to New York City Council, said he has “long been at the forefront advocating for the implementation of an HRFP Program”.

He noted that, under his leadership, the New York City Council overwhelmingly passed Resolution 1069-2011, calling on the Department of Homeland Security to create a HRFP Program, which would assist Haitians recovering from the January 12, 2010 earthquake by allowing them with approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions entry into the United States.

“I am so delighted that an HFRP Program will be implemented early next year,” Eugene told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) on Sunday.

“As someone who has been calling for the creation of an HFRP Program for several years, I know that this opportunity will save lives and reunite family members who have been separated for far too long," he added.


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