Haitian American

Once Wrongfully Detained By Immigration, Haitian FIU Student Graduates With Bachelor’s

FIU
Mendiana Merilien

Haitian Excellence 🎓🇭🇹
👩🏾‍🎓 Mendiana Merilien
📍 Florida International University
🎓 B.A. in International Relations, Minor in Economics, Certificate in National Security

My Father always says once you make peace with your story and journey, you now have a chance to shift the ending to your liking & no one will be able to use it against you.

As I complete an important milestone in my life and my journey to J.D, I deem necessary for me to celebrate this moment to the fullest. I’ve had a lot of happy times in college but there were times when sorrow took over my entire entourage.

Looking back at spring 2018, a few days after my 20th birthday I found myself inside one of the infamous Trump Detention centers because of immigration paperwork wrongly filed/processed.
I spent 2 months detained and lost a semester of school ; It fueled my purpose into becoming an attorney of the law because of the number of casualties I saw in there.

Being that I was agile with various languages I became the translator of the whole detention center; fast forward to the day I was leaving, a group of women who were staying behind either getting deported or forced to live there told me “I’m asking God to give you 10 percent of each of us’ luck so you could get your law degree and come back here with an attorney badge instead of a detainee one”.

In addition to that, a guard who grew love for me told me “Go, earn this degree and raise hell outside”. This degree is earned for a community, for my dreams and for the women who suffer tirelessly still in there.

I, by no means, live a perfect life nor have the perfect story but I’m also not a victim of my woes and that is my power.

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