Diaspora

To survive in US, many Haitian immigrants forced to choose the shadows – Haitian Times

The Haitian Times
Bridging the gap
When V.T. came to the United States in 2019 on one of many trips to visit friends and family, he genuinely planned to go back to Port-au-Prince. But with few employment options in Haiti’s capital, a daughter to feed and send to school, and extended family members in need of some financial support, V.T. decided to overstay his tourist visa. 
For years, V.T., who asked that his full name not be disclosed to minimize backlash, used the documents of friends to earn a living. With them, he was able to work in manufacturing for $12, then $14 per hour. His employers knew his situation, but chose to hire him anyway.
“When you work under a false name, you are a little bit afraid,” he said. “Some people in the agency or in the company where you’re working consider you a little bit differently.” 

Overview:

Haitian immigrants, even those with legal authorization to be in the U.S., often choose to stay under the radar of authorities as immigration complexities, language and lack of money leave them especially vulnerable.

Haitian immigrants, even those with legal authorization to be in the U.S., often choose to stay under the radar of authorities as immigration complexities, language and lack of money leave them especially vulnerable.
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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded “Yonn Ede Lot” (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne (“Lamontay”), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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