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Should U.S. let more Haitians immigrate?

Now that the earthquake's initial shock is giving way to the realities of trying to cope in the ruins, a growing number of Haitians -- and their relatives in the United States -- are starting to chafe under the Obama administration's edict to resist, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has put it, "an impulse to leave the island and to come here." Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  January 25, 2010; 8:42 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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There are many horrible places in the world where horrible things happen.

I have worked with a lot of refugees, and I'm vehemently in favor of granting more refugee visas so that more people from these parts of the world can legally immigrate (we are, after all, a country built on immigration), but I'm absolutely opposed to giving preference to illegal aliens already here, or favoring their countries over others which are equally or even more downtrodden, just because there is already a large immigrant base here screaming for special treatment.

I see each illegal alien in the U.S. as crowding out an African rape victim or Asian political dissident whom we will not be able to accommodate through legal immigration.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 25, 2010 9:56 AM

Absolutely NOT!

Posted by: yale2 | January 25, 2010 10:07 AM

Maybe instead of allowing more to immigrate, we should simply annex Haiti as an unincorporated territory they wouldn't vote or pay taxes or have representation in Congress, but the Obama administration could direct the rebuilding of infrastructure and housing - it would be the obama version of nation building - literally. Our military is already there occupying the capital. Their government exists in name only. The de facto regime in power in Haiti is the US government.

Posted by: SUMB44 | January 25, 2010 11:06 AM

Never underestimate the cruelty and selfishness of the American people.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | January 25, 2010 1:58 PM

I find Bigbrother1's comments personally offensive. The US people have been second to none in aiding the Haitian people. $100,000,000 people in direct assistance, private contributions at least matching that, the cost of maintaining our military, including hospital ships, there. At last half a billion, all told. Were it not for us, Haitians would be wandering around looking at piles of undisturbed rubble, those who hadn't already starved to death.

However, we are not called upon to have them share our home. The arguments in the article are doubtful, to say the least. I would doubt that remittances average more than $2,500 a person. If we let 20,000 people into the country, probably only half would work and the rest would not, so at the best $25,000,000 would flow to Haiti. Frankly, rather than pay for social services for all of them and tying up 10,000 American jobs, I'd rather have us just pay it as aid to Haiti and have the people stay home and rebuild their country.

Haiti is not pleasant. But that is where they need to be, not abandoning ship on their country, for we know they will never go home. If we do this, then for the hurricane later this year that devastates Jamaica, and the volcano that lays waste Nicaragua next year, and the flood the year after that in Guyana: We will have established the principle that when times get tough in a country and they need to rebuild, that they can all abandon their country and come here, to our immense expense, every time, every time.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 25, 2010 3:14 PM

I find Bigbrother1's comments personally offensive. The US people have been second to none in aiding the Haitian people. $100,000,000 people in direct assistance, private contributions at least matching that, the cost of maintaining our military, including hospital ships, there. At last half a billion, all told. Were it not for us, Haitians would be wandering around looking at piles of undisturbed rubble, those who hadn't already starved to death.

However, we are not called upon to have them share our home. The arguments in the article are doubtful, to say the least. I would doubt that remittances average more than $2,500 a person. If we let 20,000 people into the country, probably only half would work and the rest would not, so at the best $25,000,000 would flow to Haiti. Frankly, rather than pay for social services for all of them and tying up 10,000 American jobs, I'd rather have us just pay it as aid to Haiti and have the people stay home and rebuild their country.

Haiti is not pleasant. But that is where they need to be, not abandoning ship on their country, for we know they will never go home. If we do this, then for the hurricane later this year that devastates Jamaica, and the volcano that lays waste Nicaragua next year, and the flood the year after that in Guyana: We will have established the principle that when times get tough in a country and they need to rebuild, that they can all abandon their country and come here, to our immense expense, every time, every time.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 25, 2010 3:14 PM

I waited many years in line to move here after my aunt petitioned us. Not fair to give special treatment. My old country had recent disasters too and none of them got a Visa so why the rush? Dropping hundreds of refugees in my backyard is chaos. Many young refugees may also end up as indentured servants (Restavecs) like Cinderella. Siphoning the brightest minds out of Haiti will also result in a brain drain.

Posted by: jercha | January 25, 2010 3:28 PM

bigbrother1 needs to be fact checked.
Maybe he should reveal his own altruism and tell us of another country that has done more than America.

Also, maybe he can reveal our cruelty and selfishness with actual facts, since it is such an astounding accusation.

As to the relevant question, absolutely not.

Posted by: honolulu1 | January 25, 2010 3:30 PM

We have no obligation in this area. Let them stay where they will do the most good...rebuilding their own country.

Posted by: FedUp8 | January 25, 2010 4:48 PM

We have enough poor people in the US. We don't need any more. When will they stop reproducing?

Posted by: uncivil | January 26, 2010 5:56 PM

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