Reno Allows 80 Haitians To Enter To Rejoin Families With AM-Haiti-Poll, Bjt
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Attorney General Janet Reno has ordered that 80 Haitians be admitted to the United States to join their families.
Justice Department spokeswoman Ana Cobian said Wednesday that the 70 children and 10 adults were stranded in Haiti while their visa applications were being processed. But the visas would not have been granted before the U.S.-ordered halt in commercial air travel to the island begins June 25.
″This is not precedent,″ Cobian said. ″This is a case of family reunification and reflects the attorney general’s concern for children.″
Reno signed the order late Tuesday, using what is known as her parole authority ″in the public interest.″ The power is usually used to grant entry to individuals who have no means to qualify for getting into this country, but it is available for other uses, such as in this case.
Asked if there were other Haitians who might be separated from family members here, Cobian said Rural Florida Legal Services Inc. identified the 80 as the most needy. The private legal aid group will help reunite the families, Cobian said.