September 01, 2017
MIAMI - Monica Lazaro has defied all odds. After graduating from Coral Gables High School, her 40-year-old mom died of cancer. Students organized a fundraiser and with the help of an anonymous donor she was able to study biology at Miami-Dade College and Florida International University.
Lazaro is working as a research associate at Nova Southeastern University. She is studying chronic fatigue syndrome. She made her dad proud when she received a security clearance to work at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The future of the 24-year-old aspiring epidemiologist could soon be derailed. She is among the estimated 800,000 migrants waiting for President Donald Trump to make a decision that could send them back to the shadows of illegality and a life in fear -- now that the government knows everything about them.Read more
August 16, 2017
Speaking in Miami, where county authorities hold prisoners for federal immigration agents, Sessions said sanctuary policies are an example of “lawlessness” and again vowed to cut off federal funding to communities that use them.
“The same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths — zero,” he said.
By Jacqueline Charles
June 2, 2017
For 29 years, Evette Prosper has called the United States home. It’s where she attended school, got married and gave birth to two children, now 8 and 7.
An only child, Prosper doesn’t know where her father is. And both her Haitian mother, and her grandmother — who migrated with her from Haiti when she was just a year old — are dead.
But her husband of 11 years is a U.S. citizen. That should place her squarely in the category of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, holders that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred to when, announcing a six-month TPS extension last week for Haitians, it said many of the 58,700 recipients could adjust their status to remain and work legally in the United States on a permanent basis.Read more
By Jacqueline Charles
May 19, 2017
Starting in February, Haitians began showing up at the low-cost health center run by Borinquen Medical Centers of Miami-Dade worrying about what they’ll do if the federal government ends the program that protects them from deportation.
Anxious and scared, they’re searching for answers if the Trump administration decides they must return to Haiti, which is still struggling to rebound from a 2010 earthquake, a deadly cholera epidemic and a hurricane last year.
“They are scared of what’s going to happen to their kids, of what’s going to happen to them,” said Emma Manuella Fleurimont, a mental health counselor at one of the centers.
“Some of them have been living here for years. They have everything here. They have nothing in their country,” Fleurimont said. “Imagine someone who came from Haiti after the earthquake. They lost their house, maybe family members, and now you tell that person you’re going to send them back to Haiti. What is this person going to do?”
May 9, 2017
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has begun hunting for evidence of crimes committed by Haitian immigrants as it decides whether to allow them to continue participating in a humanitarian program that has shielded tens of thousands from deportation since a devastating earthquake.
The inquiries into any criminal histories of Haitian immigrants were made in internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services emails obtained by The Associated Press. They show the agency’s policy chief also wanted to know how many of the roughly 50,000 Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program were taking advantage of public benefits, which they are not eligible to receive.Read more
Cheryl Little, Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice
April 26, 2017
Jonathan was a true role model and hero. I admired him crazily, loved him so, and knowing him is one of my life’s greatest blessings.
By Jacqueline Charles, April 21, 2017
The Trump administration is recommending sending tens of thousands of Haitians back to their homeland because it believes conditions have significantly improved in the disaster-prone, poverty-stricken nation.
But the move comes as more than 40,000 Haitians continue to call makeshift shelters and tents homes — seven years after Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake — and as severe hunger and housing crises plague the country’s southern region six months after a deadly Hurricane Matthew wiped out roads, home and farmland.
“If they send everyone back to Haiti, they might as well be sending us to die,” said Cadeus Chaleus, 70, who after 16 years of living as an undocumented immigrant in Miami has spent the past seven years living without fear of deportation. “Despite what they say, things have not improved at home.”Read more
They’re so scared, these refuge-seekers in President Donald Trump’s America, that their immigration attorney will not even identify the country from which they fled rampant violence. But it was one of Central America’s violent northern triangle countries, meaning Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador.
“They were running for their lives,” Abel S. Delgado tells me. “This family was targeted, got threats from a man connected to gangs, and there was violence toward the family.”
The attorney, who works at the Miami-based organization Americans for Immigrant Justice, is not only trying to save the lives of this mother and her two teenage sons by keeping them in South Florida, where they’ve been able to receive a multitude of needed services from a network of community agencies. He’s also waging a battle with Homeland Security and immigration courts to keep their family unit intact.
It’s a herculean task in these times.
BY TIM PADGETT MAR 28, 2017
Typically, when people are in the court system they want their cases heard as quickly as possible. But asylum requests are different.
Building an asylum case usually involves the long and daunting task of gathering evidence from other countries. And here in South Florida that often means developing regions like Central America. So lawyers usually expect at least a few months if not a year or more to prepare.
But when attorney Andrea Crumrine brought her asylum client before a federal immigration judge in Pompano Beach this month, she was told this:
“'Thirty days, counselor,'" Crumrine recalls the judge telling her. "Prepare this case in 30 days.”
Crumrine works for the non-profit Americans for Immigrant Justice (AIJ) in Miami. Her client is a 35-year-old Honduran woman who says for years she’s been raped and even shot by a high-ranking police officer. (One bullet hit her ovary and forced her to have a hysterectomy, according to Crumrine.) Honduran police are notorious for such abuses. So, fearing for her life, the woman came here.
But Crumrine worries whether she can prove the woman’s case in 30 days.
“It could be the difference between winning and losing a case if you’re able to get one shred of corroborating evidence," says Crumrine. "If they have absolutely no evidence the judge can very easily just deny their case.”