‘There is no such thing as a normal life:’ Local Haitians speak on southern border crisis

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – As the Biden Administration faces backlash for not providing asylum to the thousands of Haitian migrants at the Texas-Mexico border, Haitians already in the U.S. are sharing their perspectives on why so many are trying to get out of their home country.

“Going back to Haiti it’s almost like a nightmare,” says Haitian Journalist James Pierre. “I spoke to some of them, they were telling it’s almost like another earthquake their buildings are collapsed. This is how they described going back to Haiti, without money, without a place to stay, without family members to even welcome them back in Haiti.”

A pharmacist technician at Walmart in Shreveport says she came to the United States in 2013 to escape violence in Haiti, fearing for her husband’s safety.

Frea Nemorin says five armed men came to their house at one o’clock in the morning trying to kill her husband.

“He had to jump from the balcony and lost his ankles,” she said.

Another Haitian woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says she left Haiti back in 2017 due to political turmoil.

“Haiti is not good. There is no such thing as a normal life,” the woman said. “To go to Haiti now, there is nothing in the country. There is no work, people cannot live.”

She says she came to Shreveport from Chile in July of this year and is waiting to reunite with her family.

It’s worth noting that many of the migrants who recently arrived in Del Rio have not lived in Haiti for years. As of Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security has deported over 300 Haitian migrants back to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

“But that’s just the way that our immigration system is currently,” said Frances Kelly, a volunteer at Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention. “It’s violent, it’s racist and it hurts people who are very vulnerable.”

Kelly says it is very possible that some of the migrants coming through Del Rio will end up in Shreveport.

Nemorin says she’s heartbroken with what’s happening at the southern border.

“I feel like going back home even when I get off the plane and I get killed. But I will die in my country instead of dying here of humiliation and frustration.”

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