By Tim Padgett
“Last week, more than 100 Haitian migrants arrived in the Florida Keys after a dangerous sea voyage. The Biden administration hopes to discourage those journeys with a new parole program it announced last month for migrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua — and Haiti.
That new policy is popular inside Haiti, where people are lining up daily to apply for passports to be eligible for the parole. But many Haitian community leaders here in South Florida often find themselves struggling to convince the diaspora that it’s a financially and legally risk-free alternative for helping desperate people leave their violence-torn country.
One of the biggest obstacles they face: disinformation.[…]
‘You have to understand the plight that Haitians have endured in order to get some sort of legal status in the U.S.,’ says Cassandra Suprin, a Haitian-American and family defense director at the nonprofit Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami.
Suprin notes that Haitians have long been especially targeted by immigration authorities; so as a result, many here assume that sponsoring a migrant under the new parole exposes them to onerous financial or legal risks.
‘The biggest thing is, they don’t want to get in trouble, right?’ says Suprin.
‘They are establishing themselves and their families here. And although they want to help, they really don’t want to do something that would jeopardize their status.'”