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State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (First Suffolk District, MA) issued the following statement today regarding the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program

"Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that our government will begin the implementation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program in the spring of 2015. This program will expedite reunifications for Haitian families, many of whom have been separated for years, even though their petitions for entry visas to the US have been approved. This need for this program became particularly acute in the aftermath of the Jan. 10, 2010 earthquake that devastated the country and left so many families displaced and in dire need of the kind of support that only families, ultimately, can provide to their loved ones.

"I want to thank President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Secretary Jeh Charles for their decision to make the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program a reality. Although conditions in Haiti have slowly improved since the devastating earthquake of January 2010, there is still much work to do in stabilizing the country. Bringing these displaced families back together is the right thing to do, not only for the mutual benefit of both countries, but for the children, parents and siblings who depend upon — and love— each other.

“This is a proud day for me and for all my partners, in particular the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON), who have worked so diligently since 2011 to make this policy decision a priority.  I would like to thank our partners in the Haitian-American diaspora, particularly our faith-based leaders, who helped us to gather thousands of signatures in a petition that my office organized to help raise awareness of this issue.

"I would also like to thank Brian Concannon from the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy and Steve Forester of Haiti Justice for their tireless effort on behalf of these families.  I look forward to working closely with our State Department, Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to make the implementation of this program a successful and positive experience for all who are impacted.”

Senator Linda Dorcena Forry

1st Suffolk District

(Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and South Boston)

State House, Rm 419

Boston, MA 02133

617-722-1150