Haitian family traveled about 2 months to get across the Texas-Mexico border with their 2-year-old

Monday, October 11, 2021
Haitian family reunites with cousins in Houston after crossing border
According to a translator, the migrant family traveled from Haiti to Chile to Mexico with their 2-year-old before crossing into U.S. territory.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Haitian family seeking asylum describes how they are transitioning after being reunited with a family member in Houston.

In September, more than 16,000 people who were seeking asylum crossed the Mexico-U.S. border into Del Rio, Texas. The majority of them were Haitians.

Out of the thousands of people, many were deported back to Haiti.

However, those that were families and had sponsors were transported by bus to different Texas cities, including Houston.

SEE ALSO: Buses bring Haitian migrants to Houston: 'We are different than other parts of the US'

Some Haitians are reported to be families who came to escape violence and persecution and were processed as they sought asylum for a better future.

The NACC Disaster Services reported on its website that more than 2,000 people were helped at the temporary transfer center in Houston.

Frantz Moreau, his wife Lovelie Cenelien and their daughter, who is 2 years old and about to turn 3 this month, were among the migrants.

Moreau said it took his family about two-and-a-half months to travel from Haiti to Chile to Mexico, then across the border.

SEE ALSO: White House looking into footage of Border Patrol agents on horseback confronting Haitian immigrants

The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signals the beginning of what could be one of America's swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

Moreau speaks Creole, so Judith Stevenson with Judith Loving Arms translated.

He described the family's journey and struggle to America.

"Since it's been a very difficult journey, there was a lot going on," Moreau said. "I saw dead people. I crossed rivers. My daughter got sick, and we were under the rain for like seven days. I would not suggest someone to come, or not to come, but I will just let them know to trust in God."

Moreau said they communicated with their family member in the U.S. as they made their way from one country to the next.

They were finally reunited with a cousin who is now hosting the family of three.

Moreau and his family had reportedly already began the legal process of seeking asylum, but he admitted they have struggled to get adjusted. He hopes he can start working soon to provide a living for his family.

SEE ALSO: Migrants are gone from the Del Rio border, but how many are staying in the US?

A Houston attorney says there's 'some amount of subjectivity' officials must use when deciding which migrants can remain in America.

"I felt like we needed to share our story because there is no life in Haiti. There's no security. It's so not safe to live there, or the country that we went to," he said. "We would like for our daughter to get the better opportunities. Having a chance to go to school, to college and to become a professional worker, and that depends on us. Her future depends on us."

Since the latest wave of asylum seekers, Governor Greg Abbott has been pushing to secure the border, including requesting an appeal for FEMA's denial of an emergency disaster declaration for the state of Texas and signing laws that would allot $3 billion in funding to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Abbott has also been vocal in blaming the Biden administration for not taking appropriate and swift action.

There have been reports and warnings that there are thousands of more people, including families, fleeing from their home country and migrating to the U.S.

Immigration Attorney and founder of Castro Legal Renata Castro said if the state and the U.S. wants to see change, there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform.

"We will continue to enact state laws in retaliation for immigration influx," Castro said. "But the reality is until we have immigration reform - comprehensive immigration reform - American dollars are going to be wasted in a war that no one wins. So, it's about time that both Democrats and Republicans in the House and in the Senate have a meaningful discussion about what it means to offer asylum protections for those who are seeking that in the United States. How can we make it better and more humane."

For more on how you can help the Moreau family, contact the Judith Loving Arms Foundation.

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