haitian migrants del rio gas station
Valerie Rodriguez, left, from Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, explains the challenges on Sept. 21 to the asylum seekers: No hotel rooms available in the area and no more buses for the day she said. File photo by Leonardo March

As early as this fall, some Haitian families may have a chance to bring over relatives to the United States after the Department of Homeland Security announced it will resume and increase participation in the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRP). 

After being discontinued in 2019, HFRP will allow eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for family members in Haiti to join them in America. Such “parole” is a temporary designation that allows the relative to be in the United States lawfully. It is not an immigrant visa nor is it the same as having lawful permanent resident status, also referred to as a Green Card.

“Participation in the HFRP program is by invitation only, and we are currently assessing when new invitations might be issued,” the DHS announcement read. “[We] will update this webpage when the next round of HFRP invitation notices is issued.”

Overview:

Recent immigration change efforts have come in the form of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program by DHS, the EAGLE Act in Congress and policies introduced at the 2022 Summit of the Americas in June.

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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.