This is going to be very good news for Haitian families!
On Friday, the Obama administration announced that starting in 2015 it would reduce the lengthy delays facing thousands of Haitians who have already been approved to join family members in the United States and become legal permanent residents. The department of Homeland Security will implement the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program by early next year.
According to Miami Herald
Haitians eligible to receive green cards in two years soon will be able to wait it out in the United States rather than in Haiti under an expedited family reunification program announced Friday by the Obama administration.
Beginning early next year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will implement the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to accelerate the reunification of eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, who are living in Haiti and have already been approved for a family-based immigrant visa.
There are approximately 100,000 Haitians in the immigration pipeline in Haiti but only those two years away from being issued an immigrant visa for a green card will be eligible to apply. Once paroled into the United States, individuals will be eligible to apply for a work permit and continue their wait for the green card while here.
Haitian and immigration advocates, who launched the push for accelerated family reunification in the days after Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, welcomed the major policy shift but vowed to keep fighting on behalf of all those who remain in visa backlog. For some, the wait is as long as 12 years.
“We are grateful that the administration has stepped up to the plate and done the right thing,” said Cheryl Little, executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice. “I was hoping it wouldn’t be as restrictive as it seems to be in terms of which Haitians who are eligible to join their loved ones here, but obviously it’s going to benefit a number of Haitian families who have been waiting for this since the earthquake.”
The hemisphere’s worst disaster, Haiti’s quake killed more than 300,000, injured an equal number and left 1.5 million homeless. he expedited program announcement comes not only three months before the fifth anniversary of the disaster, but reportedly ahead of plans by President Barack Obama to legalize by executive action, many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. This summer, Obama threatened to fix the country’s immigration woes by taking action on his own after congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Last year, the Senate passed a bill that would have provided a path to legal status for millions of long-term undocumented immigrants while also strengthening border security. But House Republicans refused to consider the Senate bill, which some conservatives said was amnesty for lawbreakers. – Read Full Article Here