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Haitian Community Marks Quake Anniversary

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A ceremonial band watches during an announcement  on the demolition of the National Palace on Aug. 22, 2012 in Port-au-Prince. (credit: THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images)

A ceremonial band watches during an announcement on the demolition of the National Palace on Aug. 22, 2012 in Port-au-Prince. (credit: THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (AP) — Miami’s Haitian community is gathering to mark the fourth anniversary of a catastrophic earthquake in their Caribbean homeland.

Marleine Bastien of the advocacy group Haitian Women of Miami says Sunday is a day to reinvigorate efforts to help the quake’s survivors.

Bastien and other Haitian-American community advocates want the U.S. to fast-track visas for Haitians waiting to join relatives here. More than 100,000 Haitians have successfully petitioned to join relatives here, but it can take years for visas to be issued. The advocates want Homeland Security officials to create a program similar to one created in 2007 for Cubans approved to join relatives in the U.S.

The earthquake struck Haiti’s capital Jan. 12, 2010, destroying thousands of buildings and displacing 1 million people.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

 

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