by: Kait Walsh
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Over the past month, thousands of Haitians have been trying to cross the Mexican border into Texas.
An estimated 60 to 80 of them have since arrived in Rhode Island, and two sat down with 12 News this week to share their story or survival.
Wanting to stay anonymous, the young man and his cousin, who’s six months pregnant, asked that we show only their legs and feet which have carried them across all types of terrain after fleeing from Haiti in 2013.
“From Brazil to Bolivia, from Bolivia to Peru, from Peru to Ecuador,” they said through a translator.
“There’s a side that is sad because they depart from their family,” he added. “On the other side, they’re saying leaving this country is the only way just to survive, to become productive to society, to help the folks back home in Haiti.”
Gangs have essentially taken over the island nation since the president was assassinated in July and an earthquake hit in August. They’ve been killing anyone they disapprove of and have kidnapped American missionaries.
“They were living in really a hard life there, so there were no options besides just enter into America to pursue better happiness,” the translator said of the cousins.
That hope for a better life superseded their fear of what might happen when crossing the border. They gave border patrol officers the address of a friend in Rhode Island and were allowed to travel here as they await their immigration court date on Nov. 4.
The man says he has a 2-year-old child and a 1-month-old baby, so he’s seeking asylum in the United States so the family can work while they await the next steps of the immigration process.
Since these people didn’t come into the country legally, they live in fear of being deported. However, immigration lawyers tell 12 News the courts are currently bogged down with cases, so it could take months for them to actually have to leave the country if a judge doesn’t grant them asylum.
The cousins say they’re hopeful to eventually return home to Haiti once it’s safe to do so.
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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A strong nor’easter brought damaging winds and rain to Southern New England early Wednesday morning.
Power outage numbers rapidly grew as trees and power lines came down.
DENVER (AP) — The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation — a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don’t identify as male or female — and expects to be able to offer the option to nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people early next year, the State Department said Wednesday.
The U.S.’ special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, called the moves historic and celebratory, saying they bring the government documents in line with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations.
LONDON (AP) — Pharmaceutical company Merck agreed to allow other drug makers to produce its COVID-19 pill, in a move aimed at helping millions of people in poorer countries get access to the potentially life-saving drug, a United Nations-backed public health organization said on Wednesday.
The Medicines Patent Pool said in a statement that it had signed a voluntary licensing agreement for molnupiravir with Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.