Senate Democrats

Sen. Klobuchar Draws Attention to the Plight of Haitian Orphans

Prior to Haiti’s recent earthquake, more than 380,000 children were living in orphanages or group homes. As a result of last week’s 7.0-magnitude quake, tens of thousands of more children have been left orphaned. Aid groups say that many children are living alone on the streets, foraging for food and goods that can be sold in order to survive.    Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a humanitarian parole policy that allows orphaned Haitian children into the U.S. temporarily on a case-by-case basis, so that they can receive the care that they need. As a result of this new policy, a group of 53 Haitian orphans landed in Pittsburgh this morning.   Senator Amy Klobuchar this week highlighted the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for bringing attention to the plight of Haitian orphans.    For the many Haitian children who have been adopted by American families and are still waiting to be brought to the U.S., Klobuchar has asked for additional assistance.   "I am grateful for the quick work of Secretary Napolitano and Secretary Clinton. They are on the scene. They are doing the work. But we have to do everything we can to bring these children home. These orphanages, the ones that have not been damaged that are still functioning, need the beds, sadly, for other children. These children have homes to go home to, homes that are welcoming them, homes that consider them their children."   Congress will continue to work together with the relevant government agencies and the White House to bring these children home as soon as possible.