Tester gets DHS Secretary to help Montanans adopting Haitian children

Napolitano says she will expedite process for getting adopted Montanans out of earthquake zone

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will work with Senator Jon Tester to speed up the process for Montanans who have adopted children in earthquake ravaged Haiti.

Tester has been working with several Montana families who have adopted children in Haiti.  Many Haitian children who are in the process of being adopted by Americans are currently unable to get exit visas to come to the United States.

So today, Tester raised his concerns with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

“We’ve got about five families right now that have completed all the paperwork to get the children from Haiti, and yet they’re being held up,” Tester told Napolitano.  “I need to get a commitment from you that Citizenship and Immigration Services—an agency within your Department—will work with my office to expedite our ability get those kids out.”

“Senator, you have that commitment,” Napolitano responded.

Tester today personally updated Montanans who asked for help in getting adopted children from Haiti to the United States.  Tester also directed his staff to work closely with government agencies to help cut red tape on pending Haitian adoptions.

Napolitano told Tester the Department of Homeland Security has teamed up with the U.S. State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services to streamline adoption efforts in Haiti.  She added the issue “is only going to grow over time.”

“It’s a terrible situation,” Tester said.  “ I just need your help in making this work.”

Tester’s exchange with Napolitano about adoptions in Haiti is available online HERE.