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#2025: HRIFA Extension Sign-On Letter (fwd)

From: Merrill Smith <advocacy@bellatlantic.net>

The introduction of legislation to extend the deadline for applications
under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (and NACARA 202) has
been put off until Monday.

If you or your organization would like to endorse the following sign on
letter of support, please send my your name, title, organization and
address by then. (Or feel free to send your own.)



Via Facsimile (202) 224-2237

Office of the Honorable Bob Graham
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

		Re: Extension of HRIFA/NACARA Filing Deadlines

Dear Senator Graham:

	We are greatly encouraged that you are introducing legislation to
extend the deadlines for applications under the Nicaraguan Adjustment
and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) and the Haitian Refugee
Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA).

	As you know, more than two years has passed since the passage of NACARA
and more than one since the passage of HRIFA and the INS has yet to
issue final regulations implementing these laws. The statutory deadline
for applications under both laws, April 1, 2000, is fast approaching. 

	Interim regulations contained unreasonably burdensome documentary
requirements, excessive fees and lack of appropriate consideration for
special groups such as abandoned children and refugees who were
compelled to use false documents in order to flee. These and other
deficiencies have, to date, prevented all but a minority of those
eligible from filing applications.

	Hundreds of comments were filed critiquing these and other restrictions
as inconsistent with the remedial intent of Congress. We certainly hope
that the INS will give full and fair consideration to these comments and
ameliorate the shortcomings in the final version. Nevertheless, it is
now apparent that any such improvements will be largely, if not
completely, negated by the short time remaining before the deadline.

	Accordingly, it is fitting and proper to extend the deadlines to one
year following the promulgation of such final regulations so that the
intended beneficiaries of this important legislation receive the full
measure of justice provided under law.

	Thank you for your support and kind consideration of our views.

Merrill Smith
Haiti Advocacy, Inc.
1309 Independence Avenue SE
Washington DC 20003-2302
(202) 544-9084
(202) 547-2952 fax