Mass. Black and Latino Legislative Caucus joins the chorus of support for humanitarian parole

This week, the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security urging Secretary Janet Napolitano to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. The lawmakers join Governor Deval Patrick and most of the Mass. congressional delegation in this call for humanitarian parole for Haitians who have already been approved to come to the US.

“As representatives of the state containing the third largest population of Haitians and Haitian Americans, we are deeply concerned about the precarious status of many Haitian children, elders and families as they wait in Haiti to be reunited with their families in the United States,” the caucus wrote.

“As you know, for many, the conditions in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010 remain unstable and even dangerous. Establishing a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP), modeled after the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, would alleviate this crisis by simply allowing Haitians already approved for visas to wait for them in the United States with their families rather than in Haiti.”

Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, the state’s sole Haitian-American elected official, drafted the letter and garnered support from her colleagues in the caucus.

“Many of my colleagues have substantial Haitian populations in their districts and have consistently advocated for Haitians.”

Forry says that members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, in particular, represent some of the key districts with sizable Haitian populations.

“Many of them understand both personally and as representatives of large immigrant communities the importance of initiatives like this in the everyday lives of immigrant families. That is why I felt it was critical to reach out to my colleagues in the State Legislature, and I am proud that every member of the Caucus has now signed on in support of this letter.”