Surviving Survival: Earthquake Victims In Limbo

Sep 7, 2011

After the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, thousands of Haitians fled to South Florida to escape the devastation in their country. Some were able to leave Haiti on tourist visas. Others came as guardians to their injured children. No matter how they came to the country, most have been living in limbo in the United States.

Under the Sun’s Tina Antolini spoke with survivors of the earthquake to get a feel for what life has been like for them in Miami. Many are finding it hard to make the transition. They still jump at everyday sounds, thinking it might be the beginning of another disaster.

Many of these Haitian immigrants are being hosted by family members. They can’t work because they don’t have the proper immigration status. In Haiti, Marie Jubert Attagant owned her own business – a small shop that sold electronics. But in Miami, she and others like her aren’t allowed to find employment.

Temporary Protected Status could solve these problems. It allows immigrants like Attagant to apply for a work permit. It also provides relief to the families that are hosting these survivors. In the meantime, survivors are straddling two worlds. They have escaped the challenges of their country, but met a whole new set of challenges in this country.