MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Adriano Espaillat Introduces New Resolution Urging Humanitarian Parole for Cameroon

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)

Espaillat’s resolution calls on the Department of Homeland Security to extend a humanitarian lifeline to Cameroonian immigrants fleeing unprecedented violence and human rights abuses in the African nation

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), along with original cosponsors Representatives Glenn Ivey (MD-04), David Trone (MD-06), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-5), James P. McGovern (MA-02), and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), introduced the Humanitarian Parole for Cameroon Resolution, which calls on the Department of Homeland Security to create a humanitarian parole program for deserving Cameroonian immigrants who are fleeing multiple ongoing wars and widespread human rights violations in their home country. 

The Humanitarian Parole for Cameroon Resolution is endorsed by Human Rights First, the Cameroon American Council, the Cameroon Advocacy Network, the Cameroon Muslim Student Union (CAMSU), African Communities Together (ACT), and several other prominent immigrant rights groups.  

“The United States has a crucial opportunity to rectify historical immigration disparities by endorsing the Humanitarian Parole for Cameroon Act,” said Espaillat. “This legislation represents a step towards justice, equality, and honoring the principles of humanitarian assistance during times of crisis.” 

Cameroon is grappling with multiple armed conflicts, widespread corruption, and political instability, resulting in a mass exodus from the country. Disturbing reports from Human Rights Watch reveal that Cameroonian authorities routinely subject returned deportees and their families to severe human rights violations as punishment for fleeing the unrest in Cameroon. Recognizing the instability in Cameroon, the Department of Homeland Security recently redesignated and extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroonian nationals in October 2023. However, this protection does not apply to Cameroonian refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in the U.S. after October 5, 2023, creating an ongoing gap in protection. This gap is especially troubling in light of the documented disparate treatment of Cameroonian immigrants navigating the ordinary U.S. asylum system. 

Historically, the U.S. has established over 120 programmatic or categorical parole programs for deserving immigrant populations from various regions. However, in the seventy-year history of U.S. humanitarian parole, the U.S. has yet to create such a parole program for an African country. As called for in the resolution, the U.S. now has a chance to rectify this disparity by assisting Cameroonian immigrants by providing them with life-saving humanitarian parole in their time of need. 

Read the resolution in its entirety here.

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Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx. First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his fourth term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities and serves as Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the committee during the 118th Congress. He is also a member of the House Budget Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves in a leadership role as the Deputy Chair as well as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Rep. Espaillat is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

Media inquiries: Candace Person at Candace.Person@mail.house.gov 

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