Haitians seizing on legal path to US rush to secure passport – Yahoo! Voices

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Hundreds of Haitians are flocking daily to the sole immigration office in Port-au-Prince, pressing against the bright blue gate as they strain to hear whether their name is called, hoping they will soon be chosen to live legally in the U.S. under a new immigration plan.
The crowd has swelled ever since U.S. President Joe Biden announced Thursday 5 that the U.S. will accept 30,000 people a month from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela. Those selected will be entitled to work for two years if they have eligible sponsors and pass background checks.
Those selected also will need a passport to travel, prompting the daily rush at the immigration office in Haiti’s capital.
“I’m here to leave Haiti, but I don’t want to risk my life via a boat,” said Jennyfer Leonard, a 30-year-old teacher, referring to how dozens of Haitian migrants smuggled aboard boats have died in recent attempts to reach the U.S.
“It would be nice to leave with my two kids for them to have a future, but I’m not willing to take the risk of them dying along the way,” she said.
So like hundreds of other Haitians in recent days, she opted for the recently announced legal route to the U.S. instead of joining the tens of thousands of Haitians who have been intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border and deported.
On Wednesday, an aggressive crowd gathered at the immigration officeunder a brutal sun to apply for a passport, pick one up, renew an exisiting one or check on the status of an application.
“Is that my name? Is that my name?” people shouted every time a government official approached the gate and called on someone.
Garry Saint Paul, 25, was among those waiting to pick up his passport.
He previously worked in the neighboring Dominican Republic as a janitor at a hotel until his contract and passport expired, forcing him back to Haiti where he remains unemployed.
“Haiti is under siege,” he said. “Gangs are taking over. Why not leave if you get the opportunity?”
Gangs control an estimated 60% of Port-au-Prince, growing more powerful and violent since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his private residence in July 2021. Reported kidnappings soared to more than 1,200 last year, double from the previous year, and 280 killings were reported in November, a monthly record, according to the U.N.
“Life is really difficult,” said Leonard, the teacher, whose brother is a truck driver in Philadelphia and has agreed to be her financial sponsor.
Violence also is a big concern for Salomon Jean-Pierre, a 22-year-old accounting student who stood in line near Leonard.
“The only thing Haiti promises you is death,” he said.
Jean-Pierre doesn’t have a financial sponsor yet, but he contacted his aunt in Atlanta, who said she would talk to his cousin there and see if he could help.
“I am going to get my paperwork ready just in case,” Jean-Pierre said. “I’m hoping for the best, that Haiti will change, but I don’t see a future. … If this works out for me, Atlanta, here I come!"
Poverty and hunger are deepening across Haiti, a country or more than 11 million people where more than 60% earn less than $2 a day. Inflation has ballooned into double digits while Haiti grows more politically unstable, with its last democratically elected institution — the Senate — expiring Tuesday.
Promises to hold legislative and general elections have yet to materialize amid concerns over growing violence.
Given the worsening situation, Saint Paul is hoping his brother-in-law in Texas will financially sponsor him for two years. He then plans to remain in the U.S. after his stay expires.
“There’s no way I’m coming back,” he said, adding that he expects the U.S. to renew or extend the humanitarian parole plan. “I know that immigrants are the ones who built America. America is always going to need immigrants.”
Associated Press writer Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.
A new 2023 NFL mock draft shows what the Saints could gain from a Sean Payton trade, adding both a first-round QB and a potential Andrus Peat replacement:
They arrived on a sailboat. Some stayed on board. Others jumped in the water.
Moments after the Biden Administration blasted Ron DeSantis' move to activate the national guard, the Republican governor shares that the U.S. Coast Guard asked for the state's assistance in dealing with the migrant surge.
The Coast Guard returned another 177 Cuban migrants who were caught at sea off Florida to the island on Thursday, while a group of about two dozen Haitians swam ashore in Miami.
Trish Christakis reports the migrants said they had been at sea for five days.
Lonnie Bee Smalls III, of Indiantown, walked out of the bushes and started firing a gun into an occupied car, investigators said.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was reportedly skeptical of an extremely large no-bid government housing contract for immigrants and ordered an evaluation into its distributions in 2021.
In a deposition, the former president said the word meant "to do an act that she said happened, which didn't happen."
There are some similarities to Donald Trump's secret documents scandal but there are key differences, too
Drone footage shared by Ukraine shows its troops decimating a unit of the Wagner group in the fierce battle for Soledar.
A Democratic representative told Fox News that the classified documents found in President Biden's possession could have been "planted."
(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s sworn testimony in a defamation suit by a New York author who accuses him of rape was partially unsealed, revealing the former president’s rage about the case and many other alleged “hoaxes.”Most Read from BloombergPfizer Bivalent Vaccine Linked to Strokes in Preliminary Data‘I Feel Like I Got Duped’: Tesla Price Drop Angers Current OwnersTrump’s Attack on NY Sexual Assault Law Called ‘Absurd’ By JudgeThe Document That Separates Biden and TrumpYellen Says US to Take
Illegal border crossings have dropped significantly since the Biden administration announced it would pair increased expulsions with expanded legal migration opportunities.
Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and his family have been among the foremost supporters of conservative candidates.
Rep. George Santos appeared on Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast, which fellow GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz guest-hosted on Thursday.
"There's a boatload of evidence in our favor," the Republican who lost in November said. There isn't.
Rep. George Santos of New York lied about key details of his life, education, and background, but has resisted calls to resign days after being sworn in.
"Embellishing one's résumé isn't a crime," said Gaetz, who interviewed the troubled lawmaker on Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars also went into purchasing Donald Trump Jr.'s books, "Triggered" and "Liberal Privilege," ABC News reported.
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, has claimed that Moscow is ready to "achieve the goals of the war" through negotiations if "there is no longer a threat for Russia in Ukraine".


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.