FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2010
KAGEN TAKES ACTION TO BRING ADOPTED HAITIANS HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES
Congressman urges Departments of State and Homeland Security to help evacuate adopted children of Northeast Wisconsin families
APPLETON, W.I- Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is working diligently to bring adopted children trapped in Haiti home to their parents in Northeast Wisconsin.
Over the past couple of days, Dr. Kagen has learned of several cases in his district where families have adopted Haitian children who remain in the country recently devastated by disaster. The Congressman is doing everything in his power to make sure that these children and others destined for families across the nation, are soon able to make it safely to their homes in the United States.
Last night, Dr. Kagen also sent the attached letter (text below) to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State urging them assist in this matter.
January 15, 2010
Dear Secretaries Napolitano and Clinton,
I write to you today regarding an urgent matter: the pending adoptions of Haitian children by American families. The earthquake in Haiti earlier this week was not only a tragedy there, but extends back to Northeast Wisconsin.
A number of families in my district received heartbreaking news that as a consequence of the earthquake in Haiti, the arrival of the children these families have adopted may be seriously delayed. In some cases, these families adopted the orphans over a year ago, and waiting for their adopted children to be released from the orphanages in Haiti has been quite difficult. The process of bringing these children into the United States is now extremely complicated.
I understand the Department of Homeland Security is already working on granting ‘Humanitarian Parole’ to the children whose adoption cases are pending. I also understand the State Department is tracking these cases, but unable to evacuate these children because of a, hopefully, temporary halt in immigration paperwork.
Families in Wisconsin are not alone in this remarkable predicament. Cribs in homes across the U.S. remain empty tonight, and if it were not for the catastrophe, these families would be with their adopted young.
I urge you, therefore, to work closely together to rapidly eliminate obstructions to the adoption process and place a high priority on evacuating the adoptees – and soon to be American citizens – allowing them to meet their new families.
Steve Kagen, M.D.