After long trek to U.S., Haitian woman fears husband deported By Reuters
By Daina Beth Solomon
CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (Reuters) – Betania Dominique and Ener Montimar left Haiti nearly a year ago for a better life, a journey that eventually led them to a camp next to the Rio Grande river in Texas to await U.S. immigration processing.
According to his wife, Montimar was 42 years old and summoned by U.S. officials to board the bus that left the area. Since then, she hasn’t heard anything from Montimar.
Dominique (43 years old) now worries that her husband, of 10+ years, has been returned to the crisis-stricken country.
In recent days, the camp located under Del Rio’s international bridge, Texas became a hub for up to 14,000 migrants, most of them from Haiti. Dominique, her husband and many others came as far as Chile.
Since Sunday, U.S. authorities took 4,000 migrants to the Del Rio camp for detention and processed them.
He said that he was leaving when a family member called and asked me to travel to Mexico. Dominique stated that they are deporting all under the bridge after he crossed the Rio Grande to rejoin a rapidly-growing Mexican camp.
According to Haiti’s Migration Office, Montimar is not listed on the passenger list that was flown back from Haiti Sunday or Monday.
Reuters was unable to confirm whether Montimar had left on the Tuesday flight to Haiti, or if he has been detained.
Dominique made several calls to Montimar but they did not respond.
The WhatsApp message “Love, how are ya?” asked in Haitian Creole. No reply. Dominique’s eyes were filled with tears when she presented a photograph of Montimar, wearing an orange sweatshirt. She smiled confidently.
They set out from Jacmel in south Haiti, a colonial coastal town that was devastated by the 2010 earthquake.
Dominique says that Dominique took their son with them to the Dominican Republic, where Dominique is a brother. Dominique also sent Dominique home while Dominique studied in Haiti pediatrics.
They lived for several months in Chile, but they said that it was difficult to get work and rent payment. Dominique explained that Dominique sold a piece of Haitian land for money to pay for a journey by foot or bus to the United States.
They traveled across eleven countries, including the dangerous jungle of Darien Gap, one of Latin America’s most remote wildernesses. The journey took them to Panama Island which is the entrance to Central America.
Dominique and her husband talked about their children the last time they saw each other. She said that they didn’t want to go back to Haiti.
There’s an earthquake almost every day. “We don’t even have a president. We don’t even have a government,” she stated. What are we going do with our children?
Dominique indicated that she is going to Mexico in search of work until her husband and she can be reunited, possibly somewhere else in Latin America.
She stated that she has nothing in Haiti.