HOUSTON - Hundreds of Haitian migrants began arriving in Houston on Tuesday from Del Rio, TX. The migrants are being sent to Houston in buses filled with roughly 60 people.
Volunteers are helping the migrants at a holding facility in North Harris County. As of Tuesday evening, they had received roughly 200 migrants from Haiti. However, they’re expecting roughly 1,000 this week.
"There’s a lot of problems in Haiti," said Sonilisa Rose, a Haitian migrant speaking through a translator. "So, [I] wanted to leave and come here."
Through a translator, we spoke also with a man named Elmison. According to Elmison, he left Haiti roughly 13 years ago. However, he recently lost his job in Chile and decided to leave for a better opportunity in the United States.
"[I] want to work and support [my] family," said Elmison, speaking through a translator. "A lot of people make sacrifices getting here. Their families passed away coming here. There are people who made it here, but they’re still sad because their family passed away."
Each migrant arriving to the shelter in Houston is immediately tested for COVID-19. The results take only minutes to complete. Then, they’re given a place to eat and sleep.
The buses are filled with Haitian migrants transported from Del Rio, TX. Over the weekend, roughly 15,000 migrants were taking shelter there under a bridge.
"They’ve been through a lot," said James Pierre, a volunteer from Houston Haitians United. "They’ve seen a lot, but I think they feel more of a sense of relief being here."
The Houston shelter expects to house each migrant for roughly one day, give or take. Then, sponsors will help get them to families scattered across the United States.
Elmison tells us, he’s planning to move in with family in Alabama.
"[I] want to tell America thank you for the opportunity to be here, and support [my] family," said Elmison.