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Temporary work visas can open doors for Haitians, despite low participation in past

The Haitian Times
By Sam Bojarski

Erika Rigaud
Erika Rigaud holds an American flag as she joins fellow Miami community members to condemn former President Trump’s reported statements about Haitian immigrants, in 2018. (Getty Images)

For Sherly Debrosse, watching the recent news about Haiti feels like a movie that keeps getting worse, she said. Yet, she saw a glimmer of hope in the Biden administration’s decision to offer temporary work visas to Haitian nationals. 

“There’s this hunger for life, and this hunger for being able to do better for ourselves and our children,” said Debrosse, a case manager for the San Diego-based nonprofit, Haitian Bridge Alliance. “I feel like this is a step in the right direction, hopefully this is something that the administration can continue.” 

Haiti is one of six countries whose citizens will be eligible to apply for temporary, seasonal work visas in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Nov. 9. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Mauritius and Saint Lucia were also added to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs. Each country is eligible to participate for the next year, per DHS. 

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