It was supposed to be an eight-day getaway, a chance for three South Florida brothers to reconnect with family living in the Dominican Republic amid coronavirus lockdowns and quarantine.

But four days in, the trip in late July 2020 turned into the yearlong vacation from hell. Now the three brothers hope that a hearing on July 5 may finally lead to their ticket back home.

The Nalus brothers — three Haitian émigrés who live in Delray Beach — have lost jobs and maybe even a college scholarship. Florida drivers’ licenses have been suspended and cars repossessed.

Even worse, the U.S. immigration status of two of the brothers hangs in the balance after all were arrested last Aug. 2 and detained in the Dominican Republic with scant support from the U.S. government.

There seems to have been little official public push to help the South Florida brothers, despite the fact that one is a U.S. citizen. The other two brothers are permanent residents of the United States. Still, their case may be a test of the United States’ willingness to implement a new law, the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, designed to force greater U.S. government intervention on behalf of U.S. nationals being wrongly detained abroad. Continue reading

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