Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 131674
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File Number: 131674 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-713-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGING - HAITIAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION - Introduced: 8/22/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/4/2013
Agenda Date: 9/4/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A21
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO IMMEDIATELY ESTABLISH A HAITIAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM, SIMILAR TO THE CUBAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM
Indexes: HAITIAN
Sponsors: Jean Monestime, Prime Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/4/2013 11A21 Adopted P

County Attorney 8/22/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO IMMEDIATELY ESTABLISH A HAITIAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM, SIMILAR TO THE CUBAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM

BODY


WHEREAS, on January 12, 2010, the Republic of Haiti was devastated by an unprecedented 7.0 Richter Scale earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people, left an estimated 1.6 million people homeless, and destroyed important Haitian institutions and infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, prior to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the United States Department of Homeland Security had approved immigrant visa petitions for tens of thousands of Haitian beneficiaries that were at that point waiting for the ability to enter the United States; and
WHEREAS, on February 15, 2011, this Board enacted Resolution No. R-120-11, which urged President Barack Obama’s Administration to allow these Haitian beneficiaries with approved immigrant visa petitions to enter the United States; and
WHEREAS, there are now approximately 112,000 Haitian beneficiaries with approved immigrant visa petitions waiting to enter the United States; and
WHEREAS, President Obama’s Administration has the legal authority to promptly allow these 112,000 Haitian beneficiaries to enter the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that the Department of Homeland Security may exercise its discretionary parole authority “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” pursuant to section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 United States Code section 1182(d)(5)(A); 8 Code of Federal Regulation section 212.5(c) & (d); and
WHEREAS, exercising this authority would reunite families, provide for orderly migration and ease the burden on Haiti’s overwhelmed government without cost to the United States; and
WHEREAS, Haiti’s prompt recovery and the preservation of its democracy are in the best interest of the United States as well as Miami-Dade County given Haiti’s proximity and our large Haitian-American population; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has not yet implemented a program to expeditiously parole into the United States all or some of the most vulnerable and deserving of the now 112,000 Haitian beneficiaries with immigrant visa petitions approved by the Department of Homeland Security; and
WHEREAS, the need for action is more urgent than ever given still-dire conditions in Haiti; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, President George W. Bush’s Administration created a Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program under which over 30,000 approved Cuban beneficiaries have been allowed to enter the United States since 2009 alone; and
WHEREAS, Haitian-American leaders nationwide have urged President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security to create a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, similar to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program; and
WHEREAS, there has been bipartisan support for the creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program; and
WHEREAS, during the 2013 session, the Florida Legislature enacted Senate Memorial 1478, which urged the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to create the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program; and
WHEREAS, this Board would like to urge President Barack Obama and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to immediately establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges President Barack Obama and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to immediately establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, similar to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to President Barack Obama, the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security.
Section 3. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2013 Federal Legislative Package to include this item and to include this item in the 2014 Federal Legislative Package when it is presented to the Board.



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