A number of Congressional members are working to ensure the U.S. State Department places full attention on issues facing orphans in Haiti as a key focus of the overall U.S. response. Among those at the forefront of this effort are long-time orphan and adoption advocates Senator Mary Landrieu and Senator Jim Inhofe.
A letter on Monday from Inhofe to Secretary of State Clinton requested “that the Department of State exercise broad discretion in the issuance of humanitarian parole and temporary visas for orphaned children who have connections (adoption or familial) with American families and to identify opportunities for orphaned children to receive temporary care and shelter within the U.S.”
While cynics could point out that standing up for orphans isn’t exactly a “risky” position for an elected official to take, there’s no question that attention and “reminders” from Congressional leaders can help ensure that Executive Branch leadership and civil servants give active, aggressive attention to key issues that might otherwise have been left on the back burner. Also worth noting: Senators Landrieu, Inhofe and several others have been active and sacrificial champions of adoption, foster youth and orphans for years.