Friday, October 14, 2005

Humanitarian Parole

From the New York Times:

The story of immigrants coming to the United States has always been filled with heartbreak - asylum seekers facing torture at home; quotas excluding the deserving; the sick seeking care they will never find. "Humanitarian parole" holds out another option, the possibility of case-by-case compassion at the discretion of the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a chance to come when other measures fail or take an entire childhood to yield results.

But for those rejected, it can be especially painful - another door, sometimes the last door, shut. An exceptional measure limited to "urgent humanitarian reasons" or "significant public benefit," humanitarian parole operates as a mysterious contest of human suffering, lawyers and scholars say, seeming to give extra points for narrative novelty or news media buzz.

Of 6,718 requests for humanitarian parole received by the government since January 2000, officials say, 5,253 were rejected and 1,465 approved.


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