The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) has launched a petition drive in support Haitian families, calling on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution urging the Obama administration to establish a program to expedite the reunification of people in Haiti with their families in the United States.
The resolution supports the creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, similar to a program instituted for Cuban refugees and asylum seekers, to provide support for the over 100,000 Haitians who have already been granted family visas.
“More than four years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, 10 of thousands of people are still in tents and cholera is still rampant,” said BAJI Co-director Gerald Lenoir, who led a delegation to Haiti last June. “Establishing an expedited process for Haitians is the humane and just thing to do,” he added.
The resolution calls on the Department of Homeland Security to speed up the passage of the families who have visas to join their families in the U.S. This would benefit Haitian spouses and minor children of U.S. permanent residents as well as adult children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, including married children and spouses and their families.
In 2012, Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks introduced the BAJI-sponsored resolution in the Oakland City Council, which was passed unanimously. The Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission approved a similar resolution.
“Allowing Haitian families to be reunited is the least that the U.S. Government should do, given its sordid history of occupying Haiti, supporting dictatorships and sponsoring two coups against the democratically elected governments,” said Lenoir.
The online petition can be accessed at: http://chn.ge/1omePZW. For more information, contact BAJI at (510) 663-2254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy of the Post News Group, February 28, 2014 (www.postnewsgroup.com)