Chicago’s Haitian community worries about mistreatment of Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border

CHICAGO (WLS) – Some Chicagoans with personal ties to Haiti say they feel the pain of those trying to come to the United States. Two in three people returned to Haiti from the US border are women and children.

“It’s sad,” said Daphnee Camilien, of the Illinois Haitian American Lawyers Association. “I can’t believe this in the United States of America. You can go to a border and apply for asylum and go through the process. They don’t even allow them to do that and it makes you wonder why? Why are Haitians being treated this way? “

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We remember Chicago’s connection to Haiti with every mention of Du Sable Lake Shore Drive, named after the city’s first non-native resident, the Haitian American Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.

“We are really not a group that is here to impose on the economy of the United States,” said Elsie Hector Hernandez, of the Haitian American Museum in Chicago. “We are here to accomplish and improve the economy of the United States.”

Some watched the news Thursday as the US envoy to Haiti resigns to protest against the treatment of Haitians at the border.

“I hope we can do better and welcome our neighbor, because Haiti is our neighbor,” said Daphnee René Antoine, Compassion for Transformation.

Late Saturday, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul led a coalition of 17 attorneys general sending a letter to President Biden expressing concern over the treatment of Haitian asylum seekers.

“We are summarily repatriating Haitians before such an interview can take place,” Raoul said. “And I think it’s discriminatory, unfair, anti-American and inhumane.”

On Sunday, a coalition of local Haitian Americans will hold a press conference and rally at 2:30 p.m. at Federal Plaza. They hope their voices will be heard in Washington and at the border.

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