Thursday, September 6, 2007

URGENT - Please Help

This was forwarded from our adoption coordinator:

Dear friends of Haiti,

A bureaucratic nightmare has forced the stoppage of Haitian children from receiving their U.S. visa and joining their forever families here in the U.S. A simple phone call from the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would quickly and easily resolve this situation. To date, no such phone call has occurred and Haitian children continue to suffer needlessly. We are asking everyone with a heart for Haitian children to rally together, make some noise and help our children find their permanent, safe and loving families. What can you do? Make four simple phone calls.

1. Call your U.S. Senator.
You can find your Senators' phone numbers at:
http://www.senate.gov/
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
You can find your representative at:
http://www.house.gov/
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call the Congressional Coalition on Adoption
Their number is 202-544-8500

When should you call? Today, Thursday or Friday. For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within the next 72 hours – sometime before the end of the day Friday. What should you say? Speak from your heart and give them the following information:

~ The Department of State has stopped issuing visas to Haitian orphans.
~ The problem behind the stoppage was fixed by the Department of Homeland Security. BUT, no one told the Department of State.
~ Your office must get involved and make the Department of Homeland Security communicate with the Department of State.
~ Your office should contact the Office of Children's Issues at the Department of State. Their number is 202-736-9090.

Can you explain the problem behind the stoppage? Here is some additional information…

~ The U.S. Department of State (the consular office in Haiti) is ruling that visas can not be issued to legally adopted children due to the absence of the words 'irrevocable and unconditional' in the Haitian parental relinquishment documents.
~ The Department of State is incorrect. USCIS has already resolved this issue and has been approving orphan status since June 2007.
~ Sadly, USCIS has not communicated the resolution to the Department of State. USCIS has already written a legal opinion that orphan status can legitimately be granted to these cases, but the Department of State and USCIS have thus far failed to communicate the information that will release the children.

We need to send the same concise message to each of these offices: there are legally adopted children in Haiti who cannot get Visas and come home due to the lack of communication between DOS and USCIS. Please act on this message yourself, and pass it along to anyone you know who has children waiting, has adopted in the past, or just has a heart for Haiti. Each adult member of your household can call separately. We need to depend upon sheer volume to get our point across so please call today!

From Beth - we believe that the issue will be resolved when Asa is ready to come home, but in the meantime, we must fight for these children who already have American families and who need to come home to them. Updated: I've spoken with a number of people so far this morning. The contact people for our congressman and senators seemed helpful. The woman with whom I spoke at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption was very sweet and said they had already received calls this morning (I only called at 9:20) and they were having talks/meetings regarding this issue today. Please call! And pray!

2 of your thoughts:

Kathy said...

Let's get these kids home. Some have waited soooo long.

Donna Boucher said...

Praying!