It will come as a relief to many that a new Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program will be implemented in early 2015. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas has said that “The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States. [The] program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification. It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States.” Indeed, under this program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.
As of 2014, immigrant women slightly outnumber immigrant men in the United States. Nearly half of all immigrant women are naturalized U.S. citizens. Immigrant women number more than 20 million in the U.S. today, and are making their presence felt in U.S. society. More than a quarter of immigrant women have a bachelor’s degree or even higher education. On average, 56.4 percent of foreign-born women were in the labor force in 2012, compared to 59.2 percent of native-born women. Of all employed women in the United States, 15 percent are foreign-born women. Immigrant women can be found working in every field, with one-third being in management and professional occupations, nearly a third work in service occupations and a little less than a quarter work in sales and office occupations. Clearly, the economic contributions of immigrant women are important to the U.S. economy.