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Tue Sep 19, 2017, 05:38 PM

Thousands of Haitians find 'Mexican dream' near US border


Elliot Spagat, Associated Press
Updated 2:55 pm, Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) Jose Luis Millan found a new crop of star employees at an upscale Tijuana car wash where customers cross the border from the U.S. to pay up to $950 to have their prized possessions steamed and scrubbed for hours. They're never late, always hustle and come in on days off to learn new skills, traits that he says make them a model for their Mexican counterparts.

They are among several thousand Haitians who came to Mexico's northwest corner hoping to cross the border before the U.S. abruptly closed its doors last year. The Mexican government has welcomed them, with a visa program that helps them fill the need for labor in Tijuana's growing economy.

In a country whose population is 1 percent black, Tijuana's Haitians stand out. They share tight living quarters, sending much of their meager wages to support family in Haiti. Haitians earn far less than they would in the United States but enough to forsake the risk of getting deported by heading north.

Two new Haitian restaurants downtown serve dishes with mangoes and mashed plantains. Dozens of Haitian children attend public schools. Factories that export to the U.S. recruit Haitians, who can also be found waiting tables and worshipping at congregations that added services in Creole.

More:
http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/AP-Exclusive-Haitians-halted-at-US-border-settle-12207975.php

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