The Black Alliance for Just Immigration
and groups all across the U.S. are calling upon the Department of Homeland Security to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
– like the still-ongoing Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program
it created in 2007 and immediately grant visas to the 105,000 Haitians already approved.
Before the January 2010 earthquake, Haitian democracy was and is still being subverted by the actions of the United States, France and other Western nations. This (along with several other factors throughout history) has made Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. The earthquake was a devastating blow to the country. Like Katrina in New Orleans, the disaster in Haiti uncovered the underlying racism and economic exploitation that the people of Haiti have been suffering for centuries.
There is much talk in the media about the endemic corruption in Haiti. Yet, there is no discussion about U.S. complicity in condoning and supporting dictators, nor the US backing of the 2004 overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide, the democratically elected president of Haiti. Nothing is said about the long history of U.S. corporations exploiting Haitian workers in foreign-owned sweatshops and factories. Despite billions of dollars in donations collected for earthquake relief\, 80% of the Haitian people are still living in poverty. Millions of unemployed and impoverished Haitians resided in and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince in substandard, earthquake-prone housing.
Prior to the earthquake, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had approved the immigrant visa petitions of 105,000 Haitians. They must wait years longer in Haiti due to the visa backlog. But more visas can be granted and families can be re-unified- This needs to happen immediately. And it can happen!
On May 15, 2012 the Petitions for Haitian Family Reunification will be given to the Oakland City Council. Desley Brooks will put forward for Council approval a Resolution in favor of processing Haitians immediately. Other cities in the Bay will consider similiar resolutions. Below you will find online petitions you can sign:
Aja Minor is the BAJI Program Associate. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in International Studies. She then earned her MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England with a degree in Migration and Diaspora Studies. As an African American who has lived and studied abroad, she has gained, first hand insight into experiences of migration, treatment of black people globally, and the lack of connection between communities in the African Diaspora.