Immigration Q & A: TRAVEL TIPS FROM THOSE IN CHARGE

Q. I’m planning on a vacation trip out of the United States soon. Is there anything in particular that I should keep in mind?

A. You didn’t mention your immigration status, which is, of course, a key fact. In any event, as it happens US Customs and Border Protection (CBP – the officials you encounter when entering the US) have just released a list of travel tips because this is spring break season at US colleges. Here is what they said:

US to play Haiti at Gillette Stadium

The US men's soccer team will play Haiti in a first-round match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Gillette Stadium. The July 11 game will start at 7 p.m. and be followed by a match between Honduras and Grenada.
The US, Haiti, Honduras and Grenada make up Group B in the 12-team tournament that gets under way on July 3. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough is one of 13 venues for the biennial tournament.
The Gold Cup final will be played July 26 at Giants Stadium.

St. Fleur leads colleagues on tour of Haiti

Children running around naked and washing themselves in puddles in dirt roads, outside homes made of aluminum siding and cinderblocks. Those were some of the images that remain stuck in state Rep. Marty Walsh’s mind after his five-day trip to Haiti last month. Walsh joined fellow state Reps. Marie St. Fleur and John Quinn, education officials from UMass-Boston and Westfield State and others on the trip to the Caribbean country.
“There’s blocks and miles and miles and miles and miles of poor people,” Walsh said after returning on Sunday. “The poverty was just so unbelievable.”

Act now to help secure temporary status for Haitians

Last December, in the waning days of the Bush administration, the United States government once again began deporting Haitians who had been living in the US. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) had suspended so-called “removals” in September due to the wave of deadly hurricanes that struck the island nation last summer. Some 30,000 Haitians have been ordered to leave the US as a result of the decision. Of that number, about 1,400 are considered “criminal aliens”, according to ICE.

Students plan ecological mission of 500 trees in Haiti

James Eliscar and Daniel Jean-Philip are among the many college students nationwide who’ll soon be in sunny destinations for their spring break – but life won’t be a beach for these two.
Instead, they will be planting 500 trees in Haiti, in the city of Hinche, during the week of March 14-22. The mayor of Hinche will be on hand to welcome them, and the town’s high school students will help them plant the trees.

Desire hailed as ‘unsung hero’ for work with AFAB

On a cold snowy night in Boston’s South End, The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) hosted the 19th Annual Neighborhood Fellows Banquet to honor Boston’s unsung heroes on March 3 (2009). The Neighborhood Fellows grants unrestricted $30,000 personal cash awards to “social entrepreneurs who often go unrecognized, but who make a vital contribution to our quality of life.”

This year Haitian-American activist Carline Desire was one of six honored with the award. She join 112 other Fellows who in total have been awarded over $2.5 million since 1991.

Letter to the Editor: Hope must be backed up with honesty

To the Editor:
I write in response to the commentary published in your February (2009) edition entitled “Change Haiti Can Believe In”. I am relieved knowing that there are people who are still deeply concerned about Haiti’s past and current conditions.
Haiti is a nation which has been punished for years by debilitating economic sanctions instituted in retaliation after its revolutionary fight against slavery which ended in the country gaining independence in 1804. Only in the Haitian community was the declaration of independence upheld at all costs.

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