Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Haitian Montrealers Waiting to Reunite With Family in Limbo

Haitian Montrealers still waiting to be reunited with their families after the January 12 earthquake in Haiti are asking the federal government to cut the red tape and speed up the process.

Beaconsfield resident Claire Cameron says they had to go through six weeks of red tape to get her husband's mother and son out of Haiti and that almost didn't happen. His stepfather died in the earthquake. His sister and her two year old son are still there, eligible to come here under Quebec's criteria but Ottawa still has to greenlight the process.

"It's very frustrating. I don't understand why it needs to be so complicated or so much red tape. It's not normal circumstances," Cameron told CJAD News' Shuyee Lee.

"It shouldn't take months which is what it's been, leaving babies outside running around outside on the street when they could be safe here in our home with us."

They're being supported by a coalition involving the United Church of Canada. Rick Goldman of the Refugee Aid Committee says they're lobbying the federal government to widen its criteria and be more flexible.

"We are not asking for unlimited anything, we're asking for a very carefully regulated and controlled system of humanitarian integration."

In the meantime, Cameron says all they can do is wait while their loved ones are out on the streets in Haiti, in the midst of mosquito season and the rainy season bearing down on them.

"It's not the way our family members should have to be living."

Source: CJAD

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