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South Florida Haitian advocates press for parole visa program

Most would agree that immigration issues are some of the most divisive issues the United States is currently facing. Throughout the nation individuals born in other countries living in this country legally, are seeking ways to bring their family members into the U.S. to establish a lawful permanent residence. South Florida and the Miami area are not exceptions to this. There are many reasons people feel their lives would be better in the U.S. One reason commonly cited is natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Likely already aware of this, last month, while on a visit to Miami, President Obama received a reminder from one group pushing to have their family members allowed entry into the country. The appeal to reunite Haitian families was proffered by members of the group Haitian Women of Miami, also known as FANM, while the president visited their center in Miami.

FANM is seeking to have the president sign what is known as the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. If approved, it would grant entry into the U.S. to 112,000 visa petitioners while they wait for their family-based visas to be granted. It appears that the program has support in Congress.

The procedure for accomplishing this is not unheard of. In the past, the president has granted similar permission to individuals from Cuba who had family members living in the U.S., not once, but twice.

Whether he will follow suit with the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program remains to be seen. We will provide updates on the matter as they become available.

Source: Miami Herald, "Haitians in Miami urge Obama to let family come to U.S. on parole visa program," Daniela Guzman, June 26, 2012

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