EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced that migrants who have been under the international bridge in Del Rio will be transported to different locations, an El Paso Haitian Church is already preparing.
Pastor Jean Jeudy, of Walk By Faith International Missionary Church, said he has received word that Haitian migrants from Del Rio will be needing shelter at his church in the coming days.
The small church is located in East El Paso, and parishioners have moved chairs aside after services, making room for cots are for the migrants. Since April of 2021, the church has received 1,100 Haitian migrants.
The Pastor told KTSM 9 News that the situation in the country is not good or safe.
“I don’t like what’s happening, we don’t condone what they do by the thousand they come to the shore of the United States, but we have to understand that the conditions in Haiti are not good and since they are already in the united states we have to treat them with dignity and respect,” Jeudy said.
His wife, Rachel, who is also from Haiti, shared why she thinks many Haitians are trying to leave the country.
“People getting kidnapped, people getting killed in the middle of the street, people getting robbed people cannot eat,” Rachel Jeudy said.
KTSM 9 News wanted to speak to the migrants currently at the church, however, they all declined, citing personal fear.
Jean Jeudy, the pastor, added that there are only five Haitian migrants at the shelter, but he expects a large influx any time.
The church has sheltered migrants since 2016, providing a place to sleep, food, and assistance connecting them with family in the U.S.
“We are used to (seeing) the whole family the entire family mom, dads and kids,” said Farrah JN Pierre, a member of the church who helps with migrants.
Patrick Deladsheer, director of the Haitian American United of El Paso, said the influx of Haitians first began a few months back.
“Over the past four months, we have had an influx of Haitians coming here. They come to the U.S. border and have been processed and we have been dropping them at the airport,” Deladsheer said.
For additional help, Jean Jeudy says they work with Annunciation House, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Scottsdale Baptist Church, the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, and receive food from El Pasoans Feeding Hunger. However, he saidthey are in need of more help, given the potential for thousands of Haitians needing assistance.