haitian asylum seekers
Volunteers find transportation for some asylum seekers at a gas station on Sep. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Photo by Leonardo March

In recent weeks, immigration attorney Stephanie Delia has become all too familiar with the asylum claims of Haitians who recently crossed the border into the United States. 

Out of at least a half-dozen consultations that she has handled, Delia said she has referred asylum seekers to pro-bono attorneys. Initially, clients tell her of the poverty and gang violence that caused them to leave Haiti. But it often takes more probing for asylum seekers to open up about their political fears. 

For one, many do not realize that the people behind the violence they fled years prior are the same groups that have joined gangs and become actors in the country’s political chaos. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.