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San Diego pastor headed to Texas to deal with Haitian migrant crisis

San Diego pastor headed to Texas to deal with Haitian migrant crisis
Posted at 4:15 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 20:43:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As the US continues its mass deportation at the Texas border, a local Haitian pastor will head to Texas Wednesday.

Pastor Jean Elise Durandisse says the images from the banks of the Rio Grande are hard to watch.

“It was heartbreaking. It is inhumane,” said Durandisse.

Durandisse, pastor at Haitian Methodist Ministry in Normal Heights, knows well the plight of Haitian refugees.

After the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, his church helped in the effort to aid thousands of refugees that passed through San Diego.

He says a similar desperation is being felt by the estimated 13,000 that amassed at the Texas-Mexico border, many of them from Haiti.

Haiti remains unstable after the assassination of its president and a deadly quake last month.

"Those folks are looking for a better life and a safe place. Some of them have family in the US,” said Durandisse.

Durandisse plans to fly out to Texas Wednesday, where he's hoping to meet with US immigration officials.

“I don't have appointments yet, but I'm working on that,” said Durandisse.

He plans to add his voice to those pleading to halt the mass deportation.

"I have a lot of hope. I’m not hopeless,” said Durandisse.

Durandisse will also be ready to support any migrants that aren't deported. It's unclear how many will be allowed to apply for asylum.

“To help especially pregnant women, and women and children, and maybe bring them to

San Diego, a better place .. and the community will open the doors to help these folks,” said Durandisse.

Durandisse says he's reached out to other churches and nonprofits in San Diego, and they're ready to help.

"They’ve suffered so much and been through so much … I feel like I have to do something,” said Durandisse.

The rapid expulsions are possible because of a pandemic policy adopted by President Trump that allowed for migrants to be removed without an opportunity to seek asylum.