Maria crossed the border into the Dominican Republic in 1979. Tired of searching endlessly for work in her home town of Thiotte, Haiti, she settled in Aguas Negras permanently to work illegally in the local coffee industry.
Congress should temporarily relax the annual cap on lawful immigration from Haiti by permitting greater numbers of Haitians with permanent resident and U.S. citizen family members in the U.S. to emigrate here.
The migration pressures on Haitians should not be ignored. Even if aid pours into Haiti and the U.S. Coast Guard does its best to seal the Haitian coast, thousands are still likely to flee the devastation.
Since December 30, when Jean Montrevil, a Haitian community leader, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at his immigration check-in, hundreds of people have rallied and sent letters demanding his release.