Write by Marckenley Elie
Between the hardship situation in Haiti and the hope to have a better life, sometimes is something that may lead to being somewhere else. This has been the lasting step not by choice measure taken by men and women alike who by any means necessary are ready to invest thousands of dollars to start anew. The life and food insecurity that plagued Haiti is one of the main causes of the extreme migration currently happening. This is the case of Jackson, who abandoned his activities to immigrate to Mexico with a woman, and says, “We were in business, but to be in business in Haiti, there was no guarantee of survival.”
“Insecurity is inflating and that’s why we decided to leave,” he adds. As ironic as it may seem, fleeing Haiti because of poverty and insecurity costs a lot of money, sometimes even the life of an individual. “My wife and I spent $6,000 on the trip to Nicaragua. If our country was stable, we would have spent this money on our business.”
Arriving at the Nicaraguan airport, migrants are allowed to pay $150, and a long list of expenses follows before they can settle in Mexico. “In total, the trip from Haiti to Mexico cost us around $10000,” says Jackson, who is considering undergoing the price of the trip to Honduras and Guatemala. Another migrant told our editor. Reported that during the entire trip, he had afforded a guide to bring him there. “In addition to the transportation costs, there is $500 in fees so that they can reach another country,” adds Jackson.
According to the ABC News newspaper, in a report published on October 24, 2023, hundreds of charter flights have been carried out between Haiti and Nicaragua in recent months. In another news report by the American newspaper, there have been approximately 260 charter flights.
Rose who was one of the participants on those flights, also interviewed by one of our editors says that her flight on October 14, 2023, was delayed by several hours, because of the large presence of people who were taking these flights from Haiti to Mexico, through Nicaragua. “The planes took off and landed back on the tarmac of Toussaint Louverture airport. I witnessed the takeoff of at least eight planes bound for Nicaragua,” she says. A few days after Rose’s departure, the Spanish news agency EFE Noticias confirmed that the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua welcomed 28 flights from Haiti on October 20 and 21, 2023. The United States as a supposed destination, that what most of these migrants who settle in Mexico have in mind: Uncle Sam’s country
We’re in Mexico, and we comply with the laws of the land while following other processes,” says Jackson. Speaking of “other processes,” he is undoubtedly referring to the CBP One system, allowing migrants who have recently arrived in Mexico to schedule an appointment, to initiate their immigration process in hope to eventually enter the United States. Rose is currently in Tapachula with her son and her brother, and three days after her arrival in Mexico she has already fulfilled this condition and is now waiting just like thousands of Haitian migrants. Having no legal status, these people wait and live off their loved ones who are abroad or in Haiti. “To pay for our house and to function, we give thanks to our relatives in the USA,” she adds. Furthermore, Rose says that she has been in the Biden-Harris government’s Parole humanitarian program for several months.
This program allows a person in the United States to complete a sponsorship application form I-131, to sponsor a person that is in Haiti. If the sponsor has the necessary means to support the needs of the person for whom the I-131 form was submitted. Any beneficiaries with such conditions will then have the possibility of legally entering the United States. Stuck between waiting on an email from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to respond to her submitted I-131 forms and the deterioration of the situation in Haiti, she decided to take refuge elsewhere, hoping to be approved by the USCIS. Rose who is not even been in Mexico for two weeks, says, “My son, my brother, and I spent about $10,000 and we have no plans to go back to Haiti,” says Rose.
Note that last September, the American government met with Customs and Border Protection officials to sign an agreement aimed at expelling migrants who try to find refuge in Mexico to later immigrate to the United States. For its part, Mexico has approved and will do everything to deport any migrants who try to cross the border.
Translated by: Moise Lena Jean Louis
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