U.S. Homeland Security to Introduce Haitian Family Reunification Program

The Obama administration has authorized U.S. Department of Homeland Security to start the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to fast-track reunification of qualified Haitian relatives of U.S. citizens. About 100,000 Haitians have applied for U.S. visas, but the HFRP Program restricts issuance to those with only a two-year wait. Upon arriving in the U.S. immigrants will qualify for a work permit, while waiting for a green card.


Advocates for immigrants have received news of HFRP Program's future implementation with pleasure, but as Executive Director of Americans for Immigrant Justice, Cheryl Little, commented she had hoped ". . . it wouldn't be as restrictive . . . in terms of which Haitians . . . are eligible to join their loved ones here, but . . . it's going to benefit a number of Haitian families, who have been waiting for this since the earthquake."

Under the HFRP Program minimally 20,000 visas will be handed out each year. Advocates expect the U.S. may grant up to 5,000 visas in 2015. Having many more Haitians legally living and working in the U.S. will increase the total amount of remittances sent back to Haiti, whose economy suffers unsustainable growth.

The fight is not over for family reunification visas. Many Haitians remain on a backlog list for up to 12 years. But as Haitian immigration activist, Steve Forester, puts it, implementation of HFRP Program is ". . . a good first step in the right direction."

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Read more: immigration, Haitian Family Reunification Parole, immigration, United States

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