Jun 21, 2021
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, thousands of Haitian and Cuban nationals escaped repressive regimes for the promise of safety and a better future on American shores. But once here their experience has been starkly disparate. Cubans were welcomed as political refugees, but Haitians, survivors of Duvalier’s brutal dictatorship, were detained without due process rights in Miami’s infamous Krome Detention Center. Their path to citizenship has been tenuous at best with former President Trump’s termination of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) making deportation probable. President Biden has since extended TPS protections for Haitians. Marleine Bastien, executive director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM), explains that Haitians are their own most fierce and effective advocates. A celebrated advocate in her own right, Bastien views the Haitian community in Miami as a village. For the village to be successful, families must achieve stability, which FANM makes possible through a menu of wrap-around services. And to become powerful they must become advocates. Just last week, a member of the village testified before Congress with his daughter, a rising youth advocate, by his side.