Yesterday, the Department of State Homeland Security announced that Haiti would be added to the list of nationalities eligible for a seasonal or temporary employment visa. This news comes after LIRS joined national organizations in urging the federal government to provide this visa opportunity to Haitians so they can come to the United States temporarily, learn new skills, and remit money to their families who are rebuilding from the earthquake’s devastation. Each worker admitted under this program would typically raise the income of a Haitian family by $19,000 per year.
LIRS has been actively advocating for the needs of Haitian migrants after the devastating earthquake in January 2010, particularly children and families. In both 2010 and 2011, LIRS successfully advocated for an extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians living in the United States. Over two years later, Haiti is still struggling and its diaspora in the United States is still in need of protection. We celebrated the passage of a new law to ease citizenship requirements for adopted Haitian children and urged the administration to reconsider resumed deportations to Haiti.
Now we celebrate the increased employment opportunities for Haitians in the United States. By being able to work in the United States even temporarily, many Haitians will be better able to provide for themselves and their loved ones as they continue to rebuild their lives.