Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke joined several other elected officials and activists from the immigration rights advocacy community today to laud the Obama Administration’s recently announced Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program in a press conference at the New York City Council.
The program, modeled on a bill introduced by Congresswoman Clarke in 2010, will expedite the reunification of Haitian families by allowing eligible beneficiaries of previously approved family-based immigrant visa petitions who are currently in Haiti an opportunity to come to the United States two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.
“As we celebrate today, let us remember the work of families and children across the United States, especially in Brooklyn, New York, to achieve the reunification of these families. We raised our voices and petitioned our government, introduced legislation, passed resolutions and finally, the federal government has heard our plea. Finally, the families who have been separated from their loved ones and the parents who have been separated from their children will have the opportunity to enter the United States to start their pursuit of the American Dream,” said Congresswoman Clarke. Congresswoman Clarke, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, initiated a letter to President Obama asking him to implement the program in 2011. “I am hopeful that this program will form the basis for a broader policy that will allow families from around the world to avoid unnecessary delays and seemingly endless waiting periods to reunite their families here in the United States. The wait must end.”
The elected officials in attendance included New York City Council Member Dr. Matthieu Eugene, who organized the press conference, Council Member Jumaane Williams, Council Member Laurie Cumbo, New York State Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and District Leader Rodneyse Bischotte.
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.