Commenters oppose Haitian immigration
One subject guaranteed to generate huge numbers of angry and often racist comments from our readers is any suggestion that some foreigners -- in this case Haitians -- should be permitted legal entry into the United States. We have that situation today with the news that there is growing debate in Washington over whether the government should let in more Haitians as that country struggles to recover from the earthquake.
Almost 300 comments have been filed on that story at the hour this is written, and the vast majority of them are negative to even the suggestion. Many see this as adding to the problem of inadequately protected U.S. borders. Many note that millions of dollars have been texted or donated in other ways to help Haiti recover. Many assert that Haitians would arrive without skills or education, etc., etc.
As Amy Goldstein and Peter Whoriskey write, "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.' "
We'll start with forcewinder, an early commenter whose tone was reflected by many others in writing, "We have enough people sneaking in as it is."
screwjob2 suggested, "Tell them to walk next door to the Dominican Republic. Or maybe the Vatican City wants to grant them sanctuary, since 95 percent of Haitians are Roman Catholics."
But ac0606 who wrote after more than 100 negative comments had been filed, said, "I can understand why some of you are so upset, you haven't learned that your Mom and brothers lost their house. Your best friend died. Your family is alive but slowly starving to death. It's easy to cast aside these Haitians as we'll help them through donations. Personally, I want my husbands mother here for us to take care of while her country is rebuilt, right now she's in a tent with her two younger sons and begging us to help her. Do you know how hard it is to hear your family starve to death? Die?... How dare you say they are uneducated and will be on welfare. Did you know that many kids in Haiti will go to school for longer hours than U.S. children, speak at least two languages, and are far harder workers than most of the teenagers I see in our own country...."
gsigas said, "If they have a way to support themselves in the U.S., either through skills or through families providing for them, then I believe they should be allowed in."
But Classic3 offered, "Give me a break, just what this country need, more people to feed and house. Why is the USA expected to be all things to all peoples? If they want to see their family or friends, jump on a boat or plain, go and stay as long as you like."
Client-9 wrote, "Help them best we can in their own country. But please no more "temporary" visas (which are really permanent."
MKadyman said, "The last thing that we need is tens of thousands of Haitians coming here. Most are thieves and many are violent. Keep them where they are!"
moebius22 wrote, "You have to live in South Florida to understand this. Haitians feel it is unfair that they are blocked, while Cubans are smuggled in past the Coast Guard (on speed boats) by smugglers at a cost of $1,000 a head. Once these Cubans touc US soil are automatically US citizens. Haitians being poorer than Cubans cannot compete with that and have their rickety boats turned back by the Coast Guard...."
holly23 wrote, "... Obviously texting them $5 is OK but you sure wouldn't want to be their neighbor.Are we a nation of uncaring hypocrites, even toward wounded children?...I hope these posters do not represent Americans overall--or I am ashamed."
To which silencedogoodreturns replied, "YOU need to get over yourself. I am ashamed that a "citizen" of the US can be so caught up in a Kum bah Yah moment that you lose your bearings. Americans are giving hundreds of millions to Haiti, and are effectively running the country now. We DON'T need to import their problems to show our humanity. Grow up."
JWx2 said, "NO! let them re-build their country..why does the US have to pick up their hammer when we supplied the board and nails."
WylieD wrote, "As many as Haitians as want to come. Just as soon as you decide which desperately poor Mexicans, Hondurans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Sudanese, Ethiopians, Congolese, Chinese, Tibetans, Indians, Pakistanis, etc, get bumped off the plane."
Hokie2007 said, "Wow, absolutely not. These are among the most corrupt and least educated people on earth. Haitian immigrants will serve absolutely no purpose that desperately poor persons from other nations can't already provide. We have enough strain on our welfare system as it is..."
vickie1 wrote, "...The American people wouldn't feel so against these refugees if it wasn't for the 20 million plus illegals here already. We are tired and drained.
Yet the Hatians are the ones in real need of help."
NCIndependent said, "The last thing we need in this country is more illegals. We have our own poor and homeless. While I feel for them, we are stretched to the limit. However, being the granddaughter of immigrants, I remember a time of quotas AND people who wanted to come to this country having a SPONSOR. If family is already here, that's one thing, but that should be it. Sponsors. If not, find somewhere else..."
williamsbonita wrote, "I don't understand. How do you parole a dying child?... Is this anything like the presidential pardons to criminals? Are quotas so important that we can leave people to suffer and die? We say we are a Christian nation. So, if we help the least you serve God. We say we are humanitarians, so we should help suffering humans, right? We say we are spiritual, doesn't that mean we should be trying to help those in despair? Thank God that Jesus did not work with parole and quotas."
To which Ali4 replied, "Just why does helping those in despair REQUIRE that they be moved to the U.S. for care? Or that they be fed and housed HERE rather than in their own countries? ... the concept of humanitarian parole has been abused so much in the past that we have every reason to be suspicious of its use now... Seems like there's always a reason why someone doesn't feel he should have to obey the rules."
itchy1 wrote, "If what the American people think means anything -- and it doesn't to Democrats -- I can't be in favor of this. Haiti needs recovery, not a brain drain. And the US needs skilled immigration from all over the world, not huge masses of undereducated people entering as they abandon one particular place. Neither country would benefit, so why pursue this route?"
We'll close with Intuition1010, whose views captured the tone of much of this comment string in writing, "If The USA wants to recover and survive. WE MUST close our borders. It's not that we do not have a heart....The fact is our heart has been too big in the past and now we are paying the consequences. Our own citizens cannot find work... It is time for the rest of the world to take the lead on Haiti... We as a country, are barely hanging on ourselves..."
All comments on this article are here.
January 25, 2010; 7:16 AM ET
| Tags: Haiti, Immigration, Nativism, Racism
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