Ninaj Raoul, executive director of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, told Atlanta Black Star that the U.S. has vacillated between automatically detaining and deporting Haitian refugees on the one hand, and temporarily ceasing their removal due to earthquakes and hurricanes in recent years on the other. Now, the tide has shifted once again amid an increase in Haitian refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
As the crisis of Haitan migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border grows, US Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke has urged the Obama administration to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians and called for community based alternatives to immigrant detention. Herself a the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Clarke has been a leading voice in Congress on issues impacting Black immigrants. Since the Department of Homeland Security resumed deportations to Haiti on September 22, in response the influx of Haitan refugees at the border, Clarke has been active in speaking out and uniting with colleagues in the House and Senate in calling for a return to humanitarian policies.
“These deportations will return thousands of Haitians to a country that continues to struggle with the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the recent outbreak of cholera that was introduced by international aid workers responding to the 2010 earthquake,” she shared with Caribbean Life News.
Recently, AP News reported that the Department of Homeland Security has begun to release Haitian migrants because detention centers are full. Representative Clarke is calling on the Administration to find community based alternatives to detention.
“The current standards for detaining immigrants in the United States are unacceptable, threatening individuals who have been detained with isolation from the families and communities, the risk of physical and emotional harm, and even death,” she said to NY Carib News.
Leaders such as Yvette Clarke are needed in the fight for human rights and dignity for displaced Black immigrants in crisis.
USCIS has announced that the next round of invitation to the HFRP Program will take place in mid- to late November 2015.
HFRP Program: The HFRP Program allows certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions approved on or before Dec. 18, 2014, to be paroled into the United States before their immigrant visa priority dates become current. Once paroled into the United States, these beneficiaries will be able to apply for work permits while waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. Once their visas are available, they can apply for lawful permanent resident status (Green Card).
Invitations for the HFRP Program: Invitations will be sent to petitioners of Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, that were approved on or before Dec. 18, 2014, if the immigrant visas for their beneficiary relatives in Haiti are expected to become available within approximately 18 – 36 months. The invitations will provide important information petitioners should consider as they determine if the program is right for them and their eligible family members. It will also include instructions on how to apply to the program.
Only individuals who receive an invitation will be eligible to apply for the HFRP Program on behalf of their family members. For additional information on the invitation process, please see uscis.gov/HFRP.
If you believe that you may be eligible for this program, please ensure that the Department of State‘s National Visa Center has your most current mailing and email address. You may update your mailing address by emailing the National Visa Center (NVC) at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the Public Inquiry Form on the NVC’s website atwww.travel.state.gov.
To learn more about the HFRP Program, please visit uscis.gov/HFRP.
USCIS Creates HFRP Program Site With Resources in English and Kreyol
As the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program begins to be implemented, having the correct information about the program is key. The USCIS has created a site with resources in English and Kreyol, to better understand the program details, encourage those who might be eligible to update their contact information and warn against fraud and scams.
- HFRP Official Program Site http://www.uscis.gov/HFRP
- What to expect as a HFRP recipient- http://www.uscis.gov/
humanitarian/humanitarian- parole/arriving-united-states- under-hfrp-program
- Fee Waiver Request http://www.uscis.gov/i-912
Share these links with your networks and encourage them to only trust information from official sources.
Friday April 24
11AM PST/ 12M MST/ 1PM CST/ 2PM EST
Register for call in details
Though the struggle for a Haitian Family Reunification Parole has been ongoing for several years, The Reunite Haitian Families Campaign lifted the leadership and stories of those in the Haitian American community and these combined efforts resulted in the creation of the HFRP program, a win for thousands that have been awaiting relief! As announced, implementation for the program is underway and USCIS has announced a series of information session in key cities with large Haitian American communities.
Encourage continued outreach and engagement by signing the petition urging implementation and expansion and endorsing the campaign today. The support of advocates helps to ensure our communities will benefit from the program.
Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program(HFRP), information sessions will take place in Miami, New York and Boston. USCIS officials will provide an overview of the HFRP program and address questions about its implementation. Share these announcements widely, fliers available for download in this post.
Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program Town Hall
Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 7:00 — 9:00 pm
North Miami Adult Education Center Auditorium
13110 NE 8th Avenue
North Miami, FL 33161
Information Session: Implementation of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program
Thursday, March 5th, 10:00am
USCIS Boston District Office
JFK Building, Conference Rm 900B (9th Floor)
15 New Sudbury St, Boston MA 02203
New York (NYC Flier)
Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program Meeting
Friday March 6, 9:30AM
26 Federal Plaza- Room 300
New York, NY
The creation of HFRP shows the power of communities coming together. Continue to take action and join the #ReuniteHaitianFams campaign today! Families are being united after years of separation, due in part to the advocacy efforts of organizations and allies supporting this cause.
Today marks the 5th Anniversary of the world’s worst natural disaster left more than 300,000 dead and an equal number injured. Five years later, recovery and aid efforts have made slow, uneven progress. and there are more questions than answers. This anniversary is a sobering reminder to all that families in Haiti are still struggling and we must do all that we can to assist. The Reunite Haitian Families Campaign urges a fully implemented Haitian Family Reunification Parole program be implemented to speed recovery efforts, reunite families on years long waiting list and provide much needed relief to thousands still struggling as the economy and infrastructure are rebuilt.
This video report by the Miami Herald shares a compelling update on the status of recovery in Haiti and why we must continue to fight and work together for the resilient, strong families rebuilding their lives after this tragedy.
The Wrong Help Can Hurt: Avoid HFRP Scams
The following notice is from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
On October 17, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a limited Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program to help unify families and promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti. However, this program will not begin until early 2015.
Until then, we strongly urge Haitians who may want to apply under this program to be careful of immigration scams. Dishonest people may try to trick potential applicants and take their money by saying they will help them apply.
No one can apply for the program until it begins early next year. Those Haitians who will be eligible for consideration under the program will be contacted in writing with information on how to apply. We will post announcements on www.uscis.gov and inform the Haitian community when we start this program.
Please read our newest flier, available in English, French and Haitian Creole, about how to avoid immigration scams and share it with your friends and family members. To learn more about common scams and where to report scammers, and how to find authorized assistance with immigration services, please visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams.