BEAUMONT, Texas — While many Haitians are being deported under a Trump-era health order, some are being bused to Houston to be reunited with family members.
Those on the buses are mostly Haitian couples and pregnant women.
Humanitarian groups and resettlement agencies are taking the reigns as the asylum seekers wait to take the next steps to process their claims.
Some Southeast Texans said they’ll be headed to Houston to help these agencies. A Southeast Texas pastor who founded the Haiti Missionary Support Group said he’s here to help, too.
On Tuesday, thousands of Haitians are still encamped under the international bridge in Del Rio.
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“There is not a day of the week that you don’t find Haitians wanting to get out of Haiti,” said Pastor Randy Vaughn, founder of Haiti Missionary Support Group.
They’re seeking more than just asylum, according to Vaughn.
“They’re seeking a way to support families just as you and I would do,” Vaughn said.
Since 1989, Vaughn said he’s been dedicated to providing aid to Haiti.
“To be a Haitian living in Haiti is an emotional toll. They believe that America is a dreamland,” Vaughn said.
Through his ministry, he’s met asylum seekers like Skander Desrosiers.
“When I came here to the US, that was March 29, 2013,” Desrosiers said. “I went to the US Embassy I got denied, six times, six times.”
He said he’s building a better life for himself, and education motivated him to come to the U.S.
“That was part of my dream, to come here to study in the U.S., that was my dream, and I achieved it,” Desrosiers said.
Other families left Haiti out of fear. Over the years, a series of natural disasters, economic downturn, the assassination of the country’s president, and a rise in violence have made the country difficult to live in.
“Why is it that the Haitian is having to experience what is a legal right a human right to come over and declare asylum because of conditions of where they live,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn said what we’re seeing currently has been going on for decades.
“People have been leaving Haiti, seeking that better future for many, many, many years, and some places are easier to get in, than the U.S.,” Vaughn said.
Some of those who are at our borders right now haven’t been in Haiti for years.
Many received humanitarian visas to work in South America, but those jobs all disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic hardships coupled with racism pushed many to leave.
As a country, Vaughn believes we have to do more for those in Haiti.
“The concern for those brothers and sisters, just that close to us– We have not shown it,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn said those who are left in Haiti are in need of our assistance.
He’s encouraging you to get involved with ministry work and donate to those in Haiti.
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