FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rhenie Dalger, Steve Forester
Who Former AILA President: Ira Kurzban, Immigration Advocates, Faith, and Community Leaders, and FANM members.
What Trump Administration to Terminate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
When Wednesday, August 14, 2019,
Time 10:45 AM
Where FANM: 100 N.E. 84 Street, Miami, Florida 33138
Trump’s Racism Against Haitians on Display Again: Ending the Much-Needed Haitian Family Reunification Program Hurts Thousands of Haitians!
Trump’s DHS on August 2nd announced its intention to end the Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP), which it began strangling when he took office in January 2017.
From “shithole countries” and saying Haitians “all have AIDS,” to asking bipartisan senators “why would we want any more Haitians?” and saying he prefers “Norwegians,” to ending Haiti’s TPS and inclusion in the H-2A and H-2B programs, this is yet more evidence of his anti-Haitian actions and animus.
Speeding up legal immigration from Haiti was urged by bi-partisan supporters as a way to help Haiti recover after 2010’s quake, which killed at least 250,000 and devastated the nation. Although not created until March 2015 and too-limited in scope, about 8,300 beneficiaries (who’d each waited about ten years in Haiti!) of DHS-approved visa petitions have joined their families under the program.
HFRP operated by invitation only to qualifying petitioners (as beneficiaries who’d been waiting in Haiti for years finally came within 42 months of getting visas), but Trump’s DHS intentionally never issued any invitations, effectively strangling it.
Former American Immigration Lawyers Association President Ira Kurzban, long a champion of equal treatment for Haitians, said, "The decision of the Trump White House to end this program is simply one more racist act against Haitians that began with his calling Haiti a “shithole” country and then cutting all benefits to Haitians including TPS, the H-2A, and H-2B programs.”
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) immigration policy coordinator Steve Forester, one of the program’s champions said, “Just like ending Haiti TPS, this again demonstrates Trump’s racism and disregard for the rule of law; it hurts the United States by impeding Haiti’s recovery from the quake, 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, the ongoing imported cholera epidemic, and it again shows Trump lied when he told Haitian-Americans he cared about the hundreds of thousands who died in the earthquake.”
“Terminating yet another legal and badly needed program clearly shows that the Trump administration real intent is to stop the flow of black and brown immigrants coming into this country, period,” said Marleine Bastien, Family Action Network Movement Executive Director. Why else would he stop a bona fide, the legal program when Haiti is going through such a high level of instability, human rights violations, and violence? The ending of the HFRP, continuous ICE raids, and targeting legal immigrants who use welfare benefits show that President Trump real issue is not about legal or illegal immigration; it is about preventing Black and Browns to come or remain in the United States.”
Family Action Network Movement (FANM) formerly known as Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc)/ Haitian Women of Miami is a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to the social, economic, financial and political empowerment of low to moderate-income families….to give them the tools to transform their communities.