Friday, July 23, 2010

Legislative Updates: HR 5283 and S 3411 - Help for Haiti 2010 Act

On July 20, 2010, the US House of Representatives voted to pass HR 5283, the Help Haiti Act of 2010, after agreeing to fast track the legislation and debating the bill for 45 minutes . The bill now passes on to the Senate for consideration.

Currently, the Senate is considering its own related bill, S. 3411, where it is sitting in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. It is unclear what the Senate intends to do from here.

Both of these bills are intended to assist Haitian children who arrived in the US on Special Humanitarian Parole for adoption to achieve an easier path to US Citizenship by easing the process granting them permanent resident status. While permanent resident status will assist families with one of the finalization hurdles, it does not rectify the status of the many children who would have otherwise arrived to the US on an IR-3 visa (and thus attained immediate citizenship) had the Humanitarian Parole process not been substituted for the normal process.

Though PEAR supports easing the pathway to citizenship for these children, we wish the bills went further to grant automatic citizenship to all children who arrived to the US for adoption via Humanitarian Parole. Since the US government took unorthodox steps to circumvent the usual processes and paperwork in order to bring these children to the US, we believe that the government remains responsible for removing obstacles to their citizenship and to the adoption processes.

PEAR remains concerned with the difficulties some families are facing in finalizing their adoptions, obtaining medical insurance, and registering their children for school due to lack of proper documents. We hope that our Federal government will continue to work with the authorities responsible for issuing documents and finalizing adoptions both in Haiti and the US.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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