Defying Discrimination in America: A Haitian Struggle in Modern NYC

By in Immigrant NYC

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Courtesy of Jean Michelle Mitch

What is an American?

An independent person, who has freedoms, who can follow their dreams, who can live freely without fears of social unrest…I do feel that I am an American.”

-Jean Michelle Mitch

Jean Michelle Mitch is a twenty-year-old student at St.John’s University in Queens. In 2003, when he was 10 years old, his family immigrated from Haiti to the United States after life-threatening situations were encountered: “My mother… she encountered threatening situations a few times; she got held at gunpoint by somebody.” Mitch and his family were fortunate to obtain a lawyer in America, and they are currently obtain asylum status while waiting for citizenship…other Haitian immigrants are not as lucky.

Haitians in New York

Political and Economic Factors Surrounding Haitian Immigration to America

Haitian Refugees in America: The Fight For Citizenship

The Struggle Continues…Racial Discrimination in America


Jean Michelle’s story brings awareness to the struggle many Haitian-Americans face upon arriving to America, and even before. These topics are not as openly discussed as they should be; as students in New York City, we feel that current immigration problems should be studied more in depth in order to draw comparisons between the first great waves of immigration, and the continual immigration seen today. The United States is an immigrant nation, and all ethnic groups should have fair representation. Our discussion on the push/pull factors of Haitian immigration, discriminatory citizenship issues, and the cultural issue surrounding ethnic identification outlines some of the most important factors contributing to ALL immigration groups today.

Courtesy of Jean Michelle Mitch

 By: Juliana Todeschi, James Molloy, and Regina Ippolito–Wagner College class of 2014.


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