ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL LEADS OPPOSITION OF PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS THAT PROMOTE FAMILY REUNIFICATION
Chicago —Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine in leading a coalition of 20 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to withdraw the decision to terminate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRP) and the Filipino World War II Veteran Parole Program (FWVP).
The HFRP, started in 2014, provides a pathway for Haitians with approved family-based immigrant visa applications to join family members in the United States prior to receiving their visas. USCIS later implemented the FWVP Program to similarly provide a pathway for reunifying Filipino World War II veterans in the United States with family members. Raoul and the coalition assert that these programs have brought relief to immigrants seeking to rejoin their families and escape increasingly dire conditions at home.
“The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and Filipino World War II Veteran Parole Program have changed the lives of thousands,” Raoul said. “There is no legal basis for ending these programs. Beyond that, forcing the continued familial separation of Haitians fleeing trauma and extreme hardship, or Filipinos who need to care for their aging relatives, is unethical and goes against our American values. I urge DHS and USCIS to keep these programs in place, and to support Haitian people and Filipino veterans in their time of need.”
The HFRP was established in December 2014 to assist with the reunification of families. The program gave eligible Haitians the opportunity to safely and legally immigrate to the United States more quickly while Haiti continued to face devastation and destruction that followed a catastrophic 2010 earthquake. The goal of the program continues to be promoting lawful, orderly migration and supporting Haiti’s long-term reconstruction and continued development. Two years following the successful implementation of the HFRP, the FWVP was created to assist aging Filipino World War II veterans living in the United States by allowing their family members to join them in the United States to offer care and support.
In today’s comments, Raoul and the coalition argue that these programs should remain in place because:
Joining Raoul and Racine in the comment are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.