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Many calling for government to approve certain family petitions

According to advocacy agencies, government officials pledged to provide needed assistance to immigration hopefuls from Haiti. Years after promises to take action on these particular family petitions, many with relatives on the island nation are still awaiting meaningful decisions to aid their loved ones. There may be families residing in North Carolina also hoping for action for their Haitian relatives.

After the devastating earthquake that caused wide-spread damage to the poor island country, the government reportedly planned to launch a family reunification program. This program supposedly would enable some qualified residents to seek an earlier entry to the United States under a family-based immigration program. The program was to be modeled on a similar one geared toward Cuban families.

The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program would benefit roughly 100,000 residents of the nation where the wait for a visa is an estimated 12 years. This program would allow many of those whom have already been approved by the Department of Homeland Security to come earlier, though they would not be allowed to seek permanent residency ahead of the required waiting period. In spite of repeated appeals from advocates, families and even many lawmakers, no formal announcement regarding plans to move the program forward has been made.

Many of those who have voiced disappointment with the perceived lack of progress suggested other groups are seemingly favored to the purported detriment of those families with Haitian ties. Meanwhile, those who reside in the struggling nation will wait to see whether their family petitions for visas can be processed quicker. North Carolina residents who may be attempting to aid their own relatives or have concerns regarding their own status may benefit from the support of local resources that are experienced with the current immigration policies.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Obama ignores Haitian family reunification", Oct. 15, 2014

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