CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s been a major development in the humanitarian crisis along the Texas border.
A camp where thousands of Haitian migrants gathered for days is now empty. Drone video shows the now cleared out bridge. Some of the migrants have returned to Mexico while the U.S. has deported hundreds of others back to Haiti.READ MORE: City Hall, Chicago FOP File Dueling Lawsuits In Heated Standoff Over Vaccine Mandate
Many were hoping for asylum. CBS 2’s Asal Rezaei spoke to a Chicago nurse just back from that encampment. After seeing the images, the nurse felt compelled to do something.
She said in just the 24 hours she was at the border, she not only treated countless Haitian migrants there, but assessed what can be done by organizations in Chicago moving forward.
The Haitian migrant crisis at the border is tugging on the hearts of Haitian Americans in Chicago. Patricia Nable is with the Illinois chapter of the Haitian American Nurses Association. She was able to go to Del Rio, Texas for just one day this week.
“Some of them are just waiting for someone to take them in. Some of them are waiting for support with air fare or bus travel,” Nable said. “They need clothing. There are infants, pregnant women.”
At least 20 local businesses and organizations have come together to form the Coalition of Haitian American Organizations of Chicago.
Their first course of action was to send Patricia Nable to assess the situation and see how they can help. She said conditions were not only harsh, but hard to grasp. In pictures she shared with CBS 2, many of the migrants are wearing ankle monitors.
“When you ask them why, women say it’s because I have a baby and they don’t want us to abandon our babies so they give us ankle monitors,” Nable said.READ MORE: Shots Fired At Police During Foot Chase In West Garfield Park
The crisis at the border comes just months after Haiti’s president was assassinated, followed by a deadly earthquake, prompting thousands of Haitians to migrate in hopes of a more stable life.
While the camp in Del Rio now seems to be cleared out, Haitian Americans in Chicago said they’ll be working with agencies in Texas to see how they can help the migrants that were able to stay in the United States.
“As Haitians, who live in a city, founded by a Haitian, we not only are passionate about it, but we feel that we should step up,” said Marie Toussaint of the Chicago Area Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti.
Toussaint is referring to Chicago founder Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.
“The Haitian history is just embedded in the fabric of this city,” said Patrick Brutus, President of the Haitian American Professional Network. “So we’re asking people to donate, advocate and educate.”
A daughter of Haitian immigrants herself, nurse Patricia Nables said it’s a mission that’s extra close to her heart.
“I wouldn’t be here having this conversation with you if they didn’t make the same sacrifices to come to this country and to make a better life,” Nables said.MORE NEWS: Illinois Democrats Look To Increase Edge With New Congressional Maps
The coalition in Chicago is hoping to raise awareness on the migrant crisis. They’re having a peace rally for Haitian migrants on Sunday outside of Federal Plaza.