Thousands of Haitian expatriates will live in America
“At least 25 percent of the households include pregnant women,” Mr Villarreal said. “Some of them have been traveling through South America for weeks under extremely challenging conditions.”
Upon arrival at a Houston shelter, families are tested for COVID-19 and are then provided with food, water, and access to a shower and bedding, in addition to a change of underwear.
“Some of our families have been traveling for weeks, not bathing, not eating properly, without access to feminine hygiene products,” said Mr. Villarreal.
From Houston, many families, who usually stay at Mr Villareal’s shelter for less than 24 hours, then travel to places around the United States where their relatives live. Relatives are expected to pay for airfares, but volunteers are mobilized to do so if this is not possible.
Mr Isaacs, his younger son, in his arms, left Haiti in 2017 in what he said was a never-ending cycle of violence, poverty and natural disasters. In Chile, he met his wife, and they had a son, Hans, who was burned in an accident and needs medical attention. There, he worked in construction, hotels and restaurants, and he said he planned to look for similar jobs in New York.
He and his wife hadn’t planned it that way, but Hans celebrated his second birthday on Wednesday – at an American airport nearing the end of his very long journey.
Of the many Haitian immigrants he met in Del Rio, he said, “I felt bad, because we all came here for the same reason.” “I knew not everyone was going to make it. We’re lucky.”
James Dobbins Contributed reporting from Del Rio, and Eileen Sullivan And Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.
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