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Print Version-Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Urge Expedited Processing of Already Approved Haitian Immigration Petitions

PRESS RELEASE

Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Urge Expedited Processing of Already Approved Haitian Immigration Petitions

October 26, 2011

Representative Mike Capuano, along with Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, as well as Representatives Edward Markey, Barney Frank, John Olver, Jim McGovern and Stephen Lynch asked that the Department of Homeland Security expedite the processing of approved Haitian immigration petitions.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, the lawmakers asked that the DHS grant entry into the U.S. for beneficiaries of already approved family based immigration petitions. These individuals have already been approved, yet they remain in Haiti, because Legal Permanent Residents, who have the right to petition for spouses and children, face a delay of as long as five years before families can be reunited. Conditions in Haiti are still extremely difficult in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. This action would mirror a program in place for Cuban families.

The lawmakers wrote: “We write with what we believe to be a simple and compelling request: that you use your authority to parole into the United States the beneficiaries, now in Haiti, of approved family based immigration petitions, without regard to the priority date of the applications. Members of Congress made this request in the immediate aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Conditions in Haiti remain deplorable, and, in many cases, life-threatening. Family members in the United States continue to express to us their anxiety and anguish about children and spouses living there.”

The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

We write with what we believe to be a simple and compelling request: that you use your authority to parole into the United States the beneficiaries, now in Haiti, of approved family based immigration petitions, without regard to the priority date of the applications. Members of Congress made this request in the immediate aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Conditions in Haiti remain deplorable, and, in many cases, life-threatening. Family members in the United States continue to express to us their anxiety and anguish about children and spouses living there.

We recognize that there are many — far too many — places in the world where no one would wish a loved one to live. However, we believe this exercise of parole authority, which would mirror that of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program established in 2007, to be just and appropriate for crises in our own hemisphere.

We recognize that you may be reluctant to authorize the entry of all persons, and we are chiefly concerned to reunite families of legal permanent residents separated from spouses and minor children. We respectfully request immediate exercise of parole authority on their behalf. We believe also that there would be substantial benefits in admitting adult children of citizens and LPR’s. Haitian adults, gainfully employed in the United States, would, we are convinced, significantly aid in the reconstruction of Haiti through remittances which they would send to their extended families there.

We are deeply grateful for your grant of Temporary Protected Status and for your very generous extension of TPS to those present in the United States one year after the earthquake. We appeal again to your humanity and we await your response.

Contact: Alison M. Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208



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