Kayla DeLotte

The #HelpHenry movement is making its way through the Sanford community.

Kayla DeLotte, Reporter

Henry Dorvil is a young man who was born in Haiti and immigrated with his family to the United States. He has lived in Central Florida since he was five months old and has attended schools here. Despite his immigration at a young age and his life in Central Florida, he is currently stuck in Haiti and waiting to be allowed back into the U.S.

After his family immigrated, both of his parents eventually gained permission to stay in the country legally. His father became a U.S. citizen while his mother was granted permanent residency. All of his siblings were born on U.S. soil, granting them automatic citizenship and his brother is a marine. This meant that Henry was the only one in his family that was not legally allowed to be in the U.S.

Henry decided that he needed to go to Haiti to sort out his immigration status and file for permanent residency of the country he loves and has lived in his whole life, so that he can eventually gain citizenship. Once there, he filed the paperwork, but natural disasters, like Hurricane Matthew, and living conditions slowed the process significantly.

As a community, Sanford feels the loss of his presence and has decided to rally together. Dorvil worked numerous jobs in downtown Sanford and is a well-known person by all of the locals. An online campaign was started and has made its way throughout the area with the hashtag, #HelpHenry. It began as a way to raise awareness for the situation and rally community support to get him back home.

“Henry is a vital part of the Sanford community and as a community, it is our job to help get his butt back in the U.S and allow him to continue to be the hardworking individual he is,” said junior Alicia Garcia.

The campaign encouraged people who know Henry to submit letters to his lawyer. These letters contained personal anecdotes of their experiences with Henry and would be a way to show immigration officials his importance to the community. By showing his importance and ties to the community, it is hoped that he would be able to speed up the process of coming back. To date, there have been over 100 letters of support sent to his lawyer.

Currently, Henry has no running water or electricity in Haiti, so he has a lot of downtime. He spends the majority of his time reading and jotting down ideas for the production company he started. Friends and family have sent care packages including an iPod, so that he is able to listen to music to help pass the time.

“I want to shout out Sanford for showing me love and having my back and giving me a lot of moral support,” said Dorvil.

He plans on taking advantage of all of the free time he has and feels that Haiti is where God wants him to be. When back in the U.S., Henry plans on working on his new ideas for documentaries he started before he left. Even though it may take some time, Henry will return to Florida better than ever.