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N.J.’s Haitian Americans express strong feelings about what happened at the border | Opinion

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Ask Haitian Americans about how they feel about the images they saw last week, and most will say “angry.” They reeled at the photos of Haitians camped along the Texas border; they were dismayed that the Biden Administration denied them entry and horrified by the U.S. border agents on horseback herding individuals like cattle. They also say they were disgusted, sad and devastated.

“To be treated the way they’ve been treated is hurtful,” said Stanley Neron, executive director of New Jersey for Haiti.

Thousands began showing up at the Del Rio International Bridge from Mexico after a spate of recent headlines about Haiti that read like an apocalyptic novel. There was a mysterious political coup on July 7 in which Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated, then a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14 that killed at least 2,200 people and left tens of thousands homeless. reached out to the Haitian community to hear their thoughts about the estimated 15,000 Haitians who camped under the Del Rio International Bridge last week before officials allowed some into the country, at least temporarily, and began deporting thousands back to Haiti.

In this series of videos, they share their anger and sadness:

Jean Maurice, pastor of the Temple of Unified Christian Brick Church and president of the Haitian Pastors Association of New Jersey, said the images of the encampment were heartbreaking.

“Haitian migrants, the Haitian diaspora, and the people of Haiti are in despair because of the current events, trends, and a bleak future. Haiti needs a Moses to lead them from the long 200-year desert to the Promise Land.”

Vanessa Jean Louis, a second-generation Haitian, wondered why America would let in so many other refugees but not her “brothers and sisters.” She blames the Biden administration.

“The current administration is accepting 37,000 Afghani refugees because they understand the issues in Afghanistan. Haitians traveled on foot through an entire continent because of poverty, gang violence, natural disasters, and political instability. The late president, Jovenel Moise, was not safe. What do they think will happen to the migrants upon their return?

Bergson Leneus, an East Orange councilman, said Americans must take a stand and stop the deportations.

“The Biden administration needed the Black vote to win the presidency. In the moments when we need President Biden most, there has been little to no reciprocity. There has been no comment directly denouncing the inhumane treatment of the Haitian migrants, no comment on the illegal expulsions and denial of due process, and more.”

Stanley Neron, executive director of New Jersey for Haiti and a school commissioner in Elizabeth, said these Haitian families have traveled many miles to get here, have put their lives in danger and should be treated like humans.

“We must immediately stop the deportation of Haitian migrants. The current situation in Haiti makes this a humanitarian crisis. We [Americans] cannot contribute to genocide by sending people back to Haiti.”

Josie Payoute, the founder and chief executive officer of New Jersey Kids Fashion Week, says the photos she has seen of how Haitian refugees were treated is inhumane.

She urges us to consider what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” And the words of Albert Einstein, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

This article was originally posted here: link


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