Three men arrive at the Randalls Island migrant facility in New York City in October. The facility was set up to cope with the unexpected arrival of more than 23,000 migrants in recent months. Photo by Karina Guerrero/CUNY Journalism.

NEW YORK— To the mother of a young family-of-3 who just arrived in the United States, crossing the border from Mexico should’ve meant opportunities to work and live the better life she had aspired to attain. After all, the Haitian-born woman had dealt with the challenges of navigating the CBP One mobile application for humanitarian parole applicants entering through Mexico, a health condition that sent her to the hospital and spending three nights in a detention cell, separated from her husband and infant child. 

Once released, the woman said, she and her husband were given no means to apply for work papers or a social security card. Now they’re struggling to survive day to day.


Two groups – Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees and TakeRoot Justice – demand changes to several policies that impact Haitians, whose livelihoods are threatened by what the advocates call racist, discriminatory immigration laws.

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Gabrielle Pascal is a freelance writer and photojournalist based in Brooklyn. Her work examines the multifaceted lives and current struggles of Black women and the greater Haitian diaspora. She is currently a graduate student at the New School pursuing an MFA in Fiction