After the Earthquake: Haitian Migration and the U.S. Response
For many years, HIAS has been an advocate for the fair treatment of Haitian migrants who reached or sought to reach our shores, and we are fortunate to be able to utilize our decades of experience in immigration and advocacy to confront the array of immigration issues arising from the earthquake. For HIAS, it is a great privilege to work with our partners in the Jewish community, the refugee protection field, and the U.S. government to help desperate Haitians. Read HIAS' backgrounder on Haitian migration.
Urge your legislators to reunite Haitian Families - Send a letter to your Members of Congress in support of the Haitian Emergency Life Protection Act of 2010 (the H.E.L.P. Act). This bill would allow an estimated 55,000 Haitians who already have approved visa applications to join their relatives in the U.S.
Urge Secretary Napolitano to reunite Haitian Families - Send a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano in support of humanitarian parole to allow the estimated 55,000 Haitians with approved family visa applications to join their families in the U.S.
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Haitians - In September, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti for an additional 18 months, until July 22, 2014. Secretary Napolitano originally designated Haiti for TPS in January 2010 after major earthquakes devastated the country. Eligible individuals must have lived in the U.S. continuously since January 2010. In addition, DHS has extended the suspension of certain requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant Haitian students. This will enable eligible students to continue to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while maintaining their student status. Read more.
Urge the Government to Reunite Haitian Families - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved family-based visa petitions for 112,000 Haitians who nevertheless remain on a wait list of about 3 to 11 years in Haiti, where many may not survive. Rather than waiting 3 to 11 years for a visa in Haiti, beneficiaries could be paroled into the U.S. where they can be reunited with family and have employment authorization. Take action by signing a petition that urges DHS to establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program that would reunite families, beginning with the most vulnerable or deserving -- such as the 15,000 minor children and spouses of permanent residents whose wait is nearly 3 years.
Haiti: One Year Later -On January 10th, the Brookings Institution held an event examining the situation in Haiti one year after a massive earthquake devastated the island nation. Moderated by actor and activist Sean Penn, panelists such as USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Paul Weisenfeld; Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction; Elizabeth Ferris, senior fellow at Brookings; and Claude Jeudy, Haiti national director at Habitat for Humanity, discussed the humanitarian and development problems that continue to plague the country. Watch the event.
USCIS Extends Filing Deadline for Haitian TPS - On July 12, 2010 USCIS announced that the deadline for undocumented Haitian nationals in the U.S. to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be extended by six months. Under TPS, undocumented Haitians who were in the U.S. on or before the January 12th, 2010 earthquake are permitted to live and work legally in the U.S. The new deadline for TPS registration is January 21, 2011. Read more.