Haitians Fearful, Upset Over Future Residency Issues In U.S.
News 9’s Tiffany Liou traveled to Haiti amidst all the controversy in the news. It was clear from the beginning of her trip, many Haiti citizens living in America fear what will happen with their future in the United States.
The original flight to Haiti was canceled because of weather. Haitians were eager to get home to visit their families so the cancellation caused fury at the airport. But one Haitian said the anger was more personal than a canceled flight.
“They treat Haiti really bad since this president,” said Eugene Pierre-Louis. He’s responding to the alleged comments President Trump made toward Haiti.
Tiffany finally landed in Haiti the next day, traveling with Tijunia Hudson from Oklahoma City. Hudson is the founder of a non-profit organization called Mission Direct Haiti. The executive director of the mission, Papitass Dervil Joseph, picked them up from the airport.
Papitass said the people of Haiti have been through a lot. After the 7.0 earthquake in 2010, homes were destroyed, more than 200,000 people were reportedly killed. The survivors had to make do with any materials they could find, putting tents in the mountains to avoid flooding. The shelter was never meant to be permanent.
“After 8 years, they’re still living in tents,” he said.
Mission Direct Haiti is focusing recovery efforts on a village called Traveaux. It’s in the mountains near Cabaret. The village is run-down. There is no medical care and no school for children to attend. Many families there are starving and thirsty. Villagers have to hike miles to get to a source of dirty water.
“I can’t say nothing’s been done, but what I can say is we have a long road ahead of us,” said Hudson.
Recently, the Trump Administration said it’s ending a temporary residency permit program for Haitians living and working in the United States. This would send nearly 60,000 people back to Haiti.
Tijunia does not believe the country is ready to take in that many people. She said right now, Haitians are in the United States working and sending money back to their families to survive.
If they are deported, she said, “Where are they going? They have no place here right now. When they left it was because of the earthquake. They’re coming back to nothing.”
Tijunia said the volunteers of Mission Direct Haiti are rolling up their sleeves to try and help the people of Haiti recover.
On the 10:00 p.m. newscast, News 9’s Tiffany Liou digs deeper into what Mission Direct Haiti has done for the village of Traveaux and what their vision is to rebuild the country.