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1978 - 1988
The Second Ten Years

A small number of Haitians began arriving in upstate New York in the late '70s. By the mid 1980's, 50% of the migrant work force was Haitian. This represented a significant change from the earlier predominantly African-American population. Services and programs were adapted to accommodate the new population.

Haitian "boat people" came to the US between 1978 and 1986 as refugees looking for political stability and better economic opportunities for themselves and their relatives at home. Travay jadin, migrant labor, provided Haitians a safe niche where they could make a living, support relatives at home and maintain ritual obligations while waiting for the legalization of their immigration status.

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