Carrie Meek,
Former Congresswoman Carrie Meek reminiscing about her time serving in the legislature on senate reunion day on March 20, 2008 in Tallahassee, Florida. Photo credit: Steve Cannon/ AP

FORT LAUDERDALE — Aude Sicard remembers going to meeting after meeting all around Florida in the early 1990s. She was part of a group of Haitian-Americans who pleaded regularly with officials to add Haitians to the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) bill that provided immigration benefits. But officials refused, saying adding Haitians would kill the bill, Sicard said. 

Then, the group got help from Congresswoman Carrie Meek, who initiated a bill specifically for Haitians. 

“She fought a lot. Her heart was with helping,” said Sicard, a community advocate who interned at Meeks’s office in 1994. “Her passing moved me.”

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.