Help sought to get more Haitians visas to US


Supporters of boosting Haitian immigration say that the money Haitians could earn in the U.S. would be vital to Haiti’s recovery. Haitians abroad send home more than $1 billion each year to support family and friends in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

The Florida representatives also asked that certain low-skilled, temporary worker visas be extended to Haiti.

Haiti is currently excluded from the H-2A and H-2B visa programs that allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals into the country for temporary jobs. More than 50 countries worldwide participate in those visa programs, including the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispanola with Haiti.

“Since remittances undoubtedly play such a huge role in Haiti’s reconstruction and stabilization efforts, it is critically important that we explore additional ways to help Haitians,” the Florida representatives wrote. “Low-skilled, temporary employment seems to be one way in which a limited number of Haitians may come to the United States, reunite with their families, help build the U.S. economy, and, most importantly, assist Haiti in its reconstruction through repatriated skills and capital.”

The U.S. government granted temporary protected status for Haitians who were living in this country before Jan. 12, 2011. The protected status allows immigrants from a handful of countries experiencing armed conflict or environmental disasters to live and work in the U.S. for a limited period of time.
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