To Make Things Clearer

If you listened to the talking heads programs this morning you may have been a bit confused by what you heard. I know I was. In the interest of clarity I wanted to make a few points:

  1. Neither poverty, chaos, nor crime in your country of origin constitute legitimate cases for asylum under U. S. law. Legitimate cases require persecution or fear of persecution in their countries of origin due to race, religion, being a member of a particular social group, nationality, or political opinion.
  2. Similarly, a refugee under U. S. law is an individual who is unwilling or unable to return to his or her home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin.

It should be manifestly clear that very few if any of the Haitians who somehow made their way to our southern border were either legitimately seeking asylum or refugees. Taking the most charitable possible view they were economic migrants. Less charitably, they were venue shopping for the best deal.

They went from Haiti to Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, or elsewhere because those countries had very lax immigration laws.

90% of Haitians speak only Creole. Creole is not French. Of the adults among those, again charitably, at most 62% are literate in Creole. Relatively few Americans speak Creole. The demand for workers who speak a language intelligible to very few in the U. S. and who are illiterate in that language is quite low in the 21st century. Like the Somalis before them the only thing they are really prepared for is to be clients of the state for life.

I believe that the United States should be giving more aid to Haiti and should be providing it in a more prudent manner so that it actually reaches those for whom it is intended. I do not believe that the proper way to to ameliorate the living conditions of the people of Haiti is to bring them here.

4 comments… add one
  • roadgeek Link

    What’s with the constant desire to give aid to other countries? Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries on the face of the earth, and whatever aid money we give will simply vanish, as it always has in the past, and Haiti will continue to be the failed state it always has been.

    We should instead be considering and planning how to wind down the American Empire, and part of that consideration is the cessation of foreign aid to other countries. Don’t we have enough problems of our own to solve? Enough poor people? Enough social ills? Hand me a legal pad and I’ll give you a list of problems here that deserve our attention. I’m not responsible for Haiti, and neither is any other American.

    Securing our southern border would be a good first start, and keeping a couple of naval vessels between our county and Haiti would solve the rest. If they can’t come here, then they can’t bring all their attendant social ills with them.

    Yes, winding down our empire is something that needs discussed.

  • I’m not responsible for Haiti, and neither is any other American.

    You might want to read a little more history. We’re not solely responsible for Haiti (it was born a disaster) but we’re culpable in at least some of its problems.

  • Drew Link

    Who we, Kemosabe?

    Once you start justifying contemporaries paying for the sins of the past, opportunists of all stripes will start justifying making them responsible all the way back to Adam and Eve.

    We should be providing aid if the case is made that its in our own self interest. And the point made that most of the aid lines the pockets of local crooks makes that case dubious.

  • The United States occupied Haiti for 20 years during the 20th century. After that we repeatedly supported extremely repressive regimes in Haiti and that continued right up until the early 1970s.

    So, for about 60 years in the 20th century we were up to our elbows in Haitian affairs. I’m not talking about going back to Adam and Eve. I’m talking about going back to the Nixon Administration.

    More recently the Clintons siphoned off a considerable amount of the money that should have been used to mitigate problems in Haiti.

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