Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s goal to establish a family reunification program for long-distance families is one step closer to possibly becoming a reality. On July 28 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas replied to an appeal from Wilson to create the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program.

“We have taken your request for the creation of a family reunification parole program for Haitians under advisement and are actively reviewing this proposal,” said Mayorkas.

The program would support Haitian applicants for immigration to join their families in the United States in light of the after effects of the January 2010 earthquake.

“I will continue to fight for the establishment of the [Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program],” said Wilson, who represents the largest Haitian American constituency of any congressional district.

“We strongly applaud Rep. Wilson for her continuing engagement and advocacy on behalf of these families,” said Haitian American Grassroots Coalition (HAGC) chairman Jean Robert Lafortune. Added Haitian Women of Miami Executive Director Marleine Bastien, “Frederica’s support is key to winning creation of this program to finally help our loved ones, who have been neglected far too long.”

About 100 U.S. congresspersons of both parties and chambers, joined by Haitian diaspora groups and leaders and political and religious leaders nationwide, have since Haiti’s 2010 earthquake urged the President to create this program to more speedily bring to the United States thousands of beneficiaries of DHS-approved family-based visa petitions who remain on years-long wait lists in Haiti.

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