Haitian migrants enter the water after their vessel capsized off Key Largo, Florida, Aug. 6, 2022. The people were repatriated to Haiti on Aug. 9, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Islamorada's crew)

MIAMI — As the number of people fleeing Haiti increases, often through dangerous sea journeys, advocates say the United States must extend the treatment provided Ukrainian refugees to Haitians.

Tragic deaths such as that of the 17 people killed at sea July 24 in particular shed a light on the system’s injustices, said Alix Désulmé, a North Miami councilman serving the residents of district 4. While Désulmé “fully supports” Ukrainian refugees resettling in the U.S., he said, he wishes the government would extend the same hand to Black refugees. 

"We fully support them [Ukrainiains] because they are looking for a better life. But what's the difference between them and us," said Désulmé, also the former chair of the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON). “The treatment for Haiti is totally different.”

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Ashley Miznazi is a Report for America corps member covering the Haitian community in the South Florida/Miami area for The Haitian Times. Her work will heavily feature photography, video and other multimedia storytelling. Previously, Ashley was a multimedia fellow at The Texas Tribune, where she reported on DACA, Afghan resettlement and the foster care system.