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

Briana Conner Image
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
How Houston is housing Haitian migrants coming from Del Rio
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.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More Haitian migrants from Del Rio, Texas, are spending the night in Houston. They're at a family transfer center where volunteers from a coalition of churches are preparing them for the next part of their journey in America.

The migrants staying there are reportedly families who came to escape violence or persecution. They'll eventually be taken to Bush Intercontinental Airport or the bus station to meet up with their sponsors in other states. As they transition in Houston, they're getting a warm welcome.

SEE ALSO: Immigration attorney explains why US flying Haitians to home country is a problem

ABC13 was there when 60 to 70 Haitians walked off a charter bus from the border. They were greeted in their own language before receiving help filling out paperwork and getting new clothes, personal hygiene items, and food.

"Imagine you live in a place not knowing where you're going, and all of a sudden, you find people that love you. All of a sudden, you find people to give you some help. All of a sudden, you find people to tell you that you are going to be OK," said Reverend Sadraque Cius.

Cius said disturbing images from Del Rio forced him to find a way to help. He decided to be a friendly face and provide a sense of familiarity for people in a brand new place.

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

Wilner Louders decided to take a trip down south to translate conversations between migrants and border security.

"I want to extend myself to others the same way that I had people extend themselves to me. Otherwise, I would not be here today," he told ABC13.

Both men said they felt compelled by broken hearts for Haitians and the country they came from.

"There are stories that will bring tears to your eyes. When you hear a young woman tell you she was in Del Rio for so long under the bridge with no food and children to feed, one must ask, 'How much more can Haitians bear? How much more can the nation of Haiti bear?'" asked Cius.

SEE ALSO: Thousands of Haitian migrants converge under bridge in Del Rio, Texas

Those were the questions Cius said he was asking God to provide answers for.

"Pray for the Haitians that they will receive better treatment. The Haitians are not receiving good treatment in America. They are being mistreated differently, so we are glad and happy that Houston is showing the world that we are different than other parts of the United States," he said.

Volunteers who spoke Creole said the migrants were experiencing a mix of emotions including fear and gratitude.