Diaspora

Phoenix area volunteers working hard to help Haitian immigrants who are stuck at Sky Harbor Airport – FOX 10 News Phoenix

It’s been a rough two weeks for Haitian immigrants stuck in Phoenix, and many people in the area have been hard at work to help these immigrants. FOX 10’s Irene Snyder reports.
It's been a rough two weeks for Haitian immigrants stuck at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and many people in the Phoenix area have been hard at work to help these immigrants.
The immigrants, numbering in the hundreds, were reportedly being dropped off at the airport, after their immigration paperwork was processed. According to representatives from the Haitian American Center for Social and Economic Development, the Haitians were processed by ICE to be in the country, but they are having a hard time getting to their final destination.
"It's terribly hard, I'm telling you," said Rodney Montreuil with the Haitian American Center for Social and Economic Development.
The immigrants do not speak English, and their flights to other parts of the country, in many cases, would not take off for a couple days. 
"On Christmas Eve, I got a call from my friend, and he said we are just getting a wave of drop offs at the airport, and we have to do something about it," said Montreuil.
Montreuil says he's been helping Haitian immigrants for years, but this large influx at once has been difficult to manage. He says the immigrants came in from Yuma, and he has been putting some up in hotels. Others have been staying in his home.
 
"Provide them with shelters, food, clothe,s especially the women pregnant with children, and then next connect them with their families," said Montreuil.
Pastor Joseph Edhuine, meanwhile, has been running back and forth to the airport in recent weeks, picking up and dropping off the immigrants as needed, letting them stay with him, and putting others up in a hotel using his own money.
"They need food, they need assistance," said Pastor Edhuine. "None of them speak English. They need somebody to help them."
Pastor Edhuine helps them figure out their gate, making sure everyone gets where they need to go, including a family that is headed to Florida. 
"I end up coming here and helping pretty much day and night, going home sometimes 2 o'clock in the morning, get up 5 o'clock because the person got the flight at seven," said Pastor Edhuine.
For Pastor Edhuine, the efforts are all worth it. He immigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, and knows what it's like. He wants to ensure these people are able to have a chance at a better life.
"People are hungry. They are human beings, some of them pregnant women with kids, so they need assistance. They need somebody," said Pastor Edhuine.
We have contacted both ICE and Border Patrol, and according to ICE officials, humanitarian aid groups are dropping off some Haitians to the airport. They did not say us why so many were dropped off at the airport, so early ahead of their flights.
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