SELMA, Texas – Haitians living in Bexar County are devastated watching the developments at the border.
Ausanka Dary, a native of Haiti, says political issues, lack of jobs, and natural disasters have devastated the country and led to this chain reaction.
“It’s painful and it’s hurting me because I’m Haitian. They’re my people,” she said.
The community is in communication, trying to determine how to best help the situation. Many of them volunteer with local organizations that help migrants as they pass through Bexar County on their journey to their sponsor families. She says simply speaking their language, or making them meals they’re familiar with helps them feel at ease.
Dary says migrant families are simply looking for an opportunity to survive.
“They’re looking for something, to breathe. So this is what’s happening, so they’re looking to, you know, to work and to eat to help their families,” Dary said.
She explained that in Haiti, there is no middle class. There is simply people who have and those who don’t have anything.
Some families share a little bit about their expensive and dangerous journey from other countries in Latin America. Many have ended up in South American countries, but they don’t have any opportunity to better their situation so they leave, Dary said.
“They have to take a plane. They have to take a bus. They have to walk into the forest. They have water. Some of them die, you know, and some of them lost family members along the trip,” she explains.
Immigration experts say the process of seeking asylum has become more complicated, and lengthy due to the pandemic.
Dary asks that anyone who feels compelled to help, donate to organizations like Interfaith Coalition or Catholic Charities.