Diaspora

Haitian Polk State grad gets second chance at law career – Bay News 9

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POLK COUNTY – Rooloph Rene is a graduate of the 125th class of Polk State College’s criminal justice program. 
It’s an accomplishment Rene said he doubted was possible when he immigrated from Haiti three years ago and thought he would have to leave his legal ambitions behind. 
He completed four years of law school in Haiti and, with the help of advisers, was able to transfer most of those credits. 
Throughout his time in school, Rene has been working a full-time job, running a photography business and raising his 18-month-old daughter with his wife in Auberndale. 
He said the Haitian migration crisis at the border has inspired him to help. 
"I’m part of a network that connects people from South America to here," said Rene. "We give them advice on how to manage when they get to the border, because usually they don’t have friends or family here."
Rooloph Rene migrated from #Haiti 3 years ago & thought he would have to leave everything behind including his career path in law. With the help of @PolkState advisors he graduated from their Criminal Justice Program & plans to help others live the American Dream.@BN9 @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/Lx3qsdTCK1
Rene is a strong advocate of legal immigration and has encouraged Haitians living in South America to not cross the border. 
"It’s better to stay in South America than to come to the United States and risk being sent back to Haiti," he said. 
Nearly 4,000 Haitians were deported in August, and Rene said, because some have been living in South America for a decade or more, transitioning back to life in Haiti is harder. 
He plans to start an immigration services business in Polk County. 
"I know its hard to make a life here in the United States when you are not legal," he said. adding that now he wants to give others an opportunity at the American dream.  
"I feel happy, I know that the future is bright," he said. 

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