Social Issues

Haitians ride the ‘bus of hope’ in US to find a better life

By Alex Segura Lozano

Del Río, US, Sep 18 (EFE).- Some two dozen Haitians, who arrived in the United States after camping under the Del Río international bridge on the border with Mexico, were Saturday set to take the “bus of hope” for jobs and safety to realize the American Dream.

The final destination of almost all occupants in the bus is Miami in Florida, more specifically a neighborhood called “Little Haiti.”

They hope to meet their family and friends there to begin a new chapter in their lives by taking up employment opportunities their compatriots could offer them.

Most at the makeshift bus station, located near a car wash, speak Creole and French. But some of them can communicate in Spanish, Portuguese, and English too.

The Haitian migration spike into the US began after President Joe Biden took office and reversed some of the tight immigration policies predecessor Donald Trump.

The US administration in May extended temporary protected status for the 150,000 Haitians already living in the country.

Since then, thousands have attempted to cross into the US even as they did not qualify for the program.

Clément Paris is one of them as he justified his decision to leave the Caribbean nation.

“The government there does not want to work nor does it want to help us. All the money goes into its pocket,” Paris told EFE.

He planned his migration to the US shortly after the assassination in July of President Jovenel Moïse.

But the journey was not easy.

A friend advised him to go to Chile first and then to Ciudad Acuña in Mexico on the border with Del Río in Texas.

The journey saw him traveling for a month, spending four nights camping under the Del Rio international bridge and one more in a US detention center.

Paris, holding his one-year-old daughter, is finally “happy.”

“We are happy now because we will have a good life and we will be able to help those who have been left behind,” said the 31-year-old Haitian, his wife behind him, prompting him on his replies to EFE questions.

But the case of Thomas Babel is different.

His mission is also to arrive safely to meet his relatives in “Little Haiti.”

Babel, accompanied on the bus by his wife and his son, lived in Brazil for eight years, during which he stayed in 10 different cities.

When he was in Chapecó, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, bordering Uruguay, he heard that thousands of his compatriots were organizing a mass crossing to the US after Moïse’s death.

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