|Protest highlights demand for family reunification|
|Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:23|
The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HRPP) returns to the spotlight, following a recent protest by local officials urging President Barack Obama to release an executive order to allow approved immigrants to join their family members in the U.S.
The protest was hosted at the Haitian Women of Miami (FANM) headquarters in Miami, which has long campaigned for the program.
"Twenty-nine long months since the earthquake, we advocated locally and nationally, urging President Obama to approve the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program," said FANM president activist Marleine Bastien.
"But despite rallies, petitions, letters, advocacy around the nation...the president and his administration have remained mum. We hope that the reason he didn't take any decision is because his advisers have not given him the right message. We gather here today to send the right message... We ask President [Obama] to let Haitians [whose] visas have been approved join their family members here, at least let the children come first," said Bastien.
The protest was also joined by Jack Lieberman, founder of the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, and North Miami Vice Mayor, Jean Marcellus.
"We ask White House and President Obama to approve the HRPP, to start with the legal migration allowing Haitians whose visas have been approved to join their family here," said Marcellus. "The time is now to do something for Haitians, Mr. Obama, it will be a win-win situation."