President Trump, Please Help Christian Daniel Come Home!

President Trump, Please Help Christian Daniel Come Home!

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Vanessa B started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

Dear Mr. President:


I am writing you to request that the government intercedes in and facilitates the repatriation of U.S. citizen Christian Daniel’s remains, bringing them back into the United States from Haiti.


Christian was an incredible individual and the bedrock of the Haitian-American community here in North Austin. Although he was born in Haiti, he became an exemplary U.S. citizen and always adhered to the spirit of this country. He was generous with his time and resources; hardworking, loyal and dedicated to our nation. He was the type of man who was always on-call to help his neighbors, often showing up to their homes while still in his work uniform so that he could help out before commuting back to his own residence by the day’s end. He made home repairs, counseled troubled youth and showed up to every important event to lend a hand when needed. All of this he did without asking for anything in return, and he never spoke ill of others or acted sanctimonious about his own good deeds. His everyday actions are what I believe sits truest to your ultimate goal for our nation: to “Make America Great Again.”


On August 13, 2018, Christian was murdered by a group of criminals while attempting to visit his family in Haiti. He had only just a short time ago been installing blinds on my windows. Now I look through those same windows thinking about a memory which not long ago was a living man. Indeed, all of us are shaken and grieving from our loss, none more so than Christian’s family here in Texas. As a community we are attempting to navigate the difficult and heartbreaking process of securing passage for Christian’s remains to be buried in Texas. Despite our best efforts, our progress has been impeded by severe obstacles arising from the repatriation process.


To begin, although the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs assists the families of U.S. citizens who have died abroad, they do not provide any funding for repatriation and do not coordinate with foreign officials on behalf of the deceased’s family. This leaves the family to contact the appropriate foreign offices for guidance through many multi-layered, red-tape regulations dictating how a citizen’s body may be shipped back into the U.S.. Frequently, this involves certifying the embalming of the deceased and making sure they are given an appropriate means for transport. Cremation can make some of this process easier and certainly cheaper, but in Haiti cremation is simply out of the question. The Haitian bureaucracy is also very complicated and not always as well regulated as one would like. These obstacles provide an already devastated family with much more stress and pain in their attempts to secure Christian’s burial in the United States.


Mr. President, although you are still early into defining your political legacy I do know that you care a great deal about your family. The loyalty and camaraderie you all share tells me that, whatever your final vision for America may be, you understand the need for family ties to remain strong and at the center of what makes this country great. Surely you can then sympathise with a man who cared about family more than anything else, whose death was brought about by the need to see his family in Haiti, and whose American family wishes desperately to remain close to all they have left of him. I have faith that, despite what the media may say, you would see a man of his qualities as a blessing to our country and someone who is no less of an exemplary American even in death. He deserves to be laid to rest here in the United States, because he truly gave all of himself to this country.


Please use whatever means are at your disposal to ensure that Christian Daniel makes it back home to his family. Few people have ever put “America First” as much as he did.


Most respectfully,

Vanessa Bissereth

 

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