Michelle DuBreuil is a Ph.D. student in the SDSU/UCSB Joint Doctoral Geography. Previously she worked with the CSUSM National Latino Research Center. Her research interests include environmentally induced migration, transnationalism, belonging, and identity construction. Future research will explore the most recent diaspora of transnational Haitian migrants, focusing on those arriving in Mexico and Canada post-2015.
Haitians in Tijuana, a city which prior to 2015 had no Haitian presence, face a different set of challenges than those Haitians arriving in Montreal, Canada, which has received Haitian migrants since the coup of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier in 1957. My research utilizes quantitative and qualitative data to analyze the lived experiences of new Haitian migrants between two very different migrant communities. Text analysis of participant interviews will highlight key differences in the migrant experience of these disparate Haitian communities. Analysis of media published on the topic of Haitian migrants specifically, and refugees, border and migration policy more broadly, provide insights on public sentiment and how this influences these migrants’ lives and perceptions. This research seeks to develop a greater understanding of the role of age, gender, language, economics, and geopolitical climate in the lived experiences of Haitian migrants in Montreal and Tijuana. This research is vital as the residual effects of colonialism, imperialism, globalization, and neoliberalism converge with global climate change to spur new large migrations of environmental refugees to new host countries.