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Morning Roundup - January 19th

We encourage you to check out a few of the following posts from The Compass, the Coast Guard's blog. They've been heavily involved in Haiti, and have been posting some first-hand reports from the field.

Guardians Report In: HS1 Larry Berman

Updated – Guardians Report In: FN Rebekah Runner

Field Notes: LCDR Christopher O’Neil

Guardians Report In from Haiti

A few stories this morning on the Haiti relief efforts:

From the Miami Herald, on humanitarian parole for certain Haitian orphans:

In a late development on Monday, the U.S. governmentannounced it was granting humanitarian paroles to hundreds of Haitian orphans who were waiting to be adopted by Americans before the earthquake.

``While we remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care they need here,'' said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The humanitarian parole policy will be applied on a case-by-case basis to the following children: . Children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for inter-country adoption by the government of Haiti and are being adopted by U.S. citizens.

. Children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.

Napolitano left the door open for other needy orphans to be considered for the humanitarian parole.

The Catholic Church in Miami has announced plans to launch a second Operation Pedro Pan, this time to house in South Florida Haitian children at risk. They have already identified three sites; two in Miami-Dade and one in Broward.


From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on a group of Haitian orphans evacuated to the United States:

A group of 53 Haitian orphans was expected to arrive in Pittsburgh this morning as part of a mission led by Gov. Ed Rendell to rescue the children from an earthquake-battered orphanage run by two Ben Avon sisters.

A military transport plane carrying the Pittsburgh delegation, which included lawmakers, doctors and others, left Port-au-Prince shortly before 11 p.m., said Gary Tuma, a spokesman for Rendell.

The plane was expected to land first at Homestead Air Force Base in Miami, Tuma said. Republic Airways provided the charter jet to Haiti, according to officials at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which helped coordinate the effort.

Plans called for the children to receive medical checkups at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville after their arrival in Pittsburgh and stay with temporary caregivers licensed by Allegheny County. Volunteers from The American Red Cross and Catholic Charities were setting up cots and supplies such as clothing, blankets and food at the hospital, said spokesman Marc Lukasiak.

"I feel good about this," said Leon Pamphile, executive director of the nonprofit Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti, a native of Port-au-Prince who lives in Pittsburgh and whose niece was part of the contingent. "Everyone is so happy."


From the Washington Post, on Temporary Protected Status for Haitians living in the United States:

When a friend called a 36-year-old Haitian woman from Takoma Park to tell her Haitians who have been living in the United States illegally will be allowed to stay and work for the next 18 months, the woman dropped the phone.

"I screamed. I got on my knees. And I cried 'Lord, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,' " the woman, whose middle name is Stephanie, recalled. "Nine years I have been waiting for this."

But for Stephanie, who asked that only her middle name be used because she does not want acquaintances to know she has been an illegal immigrant all this time, the feeling was bittersweet.

The massive earthquake that prompted the Obama aministration to extend Haitians "temporary protected status" or TPS, flattened the house in Port-au-Prince where Stephanie grew up, leaving two of her brothers and their children homeless. Two other brothers are still unaccounted for.

"I said, 'Lord, All those people had to lose their lives so that you can deliver me from my hardship?' It's like joy and sorrow at the same time."

So it went in Haitian immigrant enclaves across the country this weekend as word of the TPS decision Friday spread among the estimated 100,000 to 200,000 foreigners expected to qualify.

Many are still trying to sort out the details.

"Will I need a lawyer?" wondered Vertus Louidor, 31, also of Takoma Park, who has mostly relied on close friends to house and feed her since she fled the poverty and unemployment of her rural hometown four years ago.

Dady Philogene, 28, a mother of two young American children who lives in Salisbury, was nervous about identifying herself to authorities--especially since there is no guarantee the status will be renewed after 18 months. "It's hard to put into words the feeling," she said. "You ask yourself what is going to happen afterwards."

But she was still keen to try. "Can I ask you a question, How long will the process take? When can I apply?" she asked a reporter.


Public Events
2 PM Local
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) US-VISIT Director Robert Mocny will deliver remarks about US-VISIT’s current and upcoming initiatives at the First Conference on Technical Cooperation for Border Management
Shangri-La Hotel, Grand Ballroom
New Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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