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DHS/DOD Tell Haitians Not To Flee To US

From an obviously outraged New York Times:

Homeless Haitians Told Not to Flee to U.S.


January 18, 2010

MIAMI — America has a message for the millions of Haitians left homeless and destitute by last week’s earthquake: Do not try to come to the United States.

Every day, a United States Air Force cargo plane specially equipped with radio transmitters flies for five hours over the devastated country, broadcasting news and a recorded message from Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador in Washington.

“Listen, don’t rush on boats to leave the country,” Mr. Joseph says in Creole, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon. “If you do that, we’ll all have even worse problems. Because, I’ll be honest with you: If you think you will reach the U.S. and all the doors will be wide open to you, that’s not at all the case. And they will intercept you right on the water and send you back home where you came from.”

Homeland Security and Defense Department officials say they are taking a hard line to avert a mass exodus from the island that could lead to deaths at sea or a refugee crisis in South Florida. Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, is about 700 miles from Miami.

Just imagine the outrage if this were being done under President Bush.

So far, there has been no sign of Haitians trying to flee the island by boat, United States officials say. Nor has there been a mass exodus of Haitians into the neighboring Dominican Republic, except for about 3,000 injured people who are being treated at hospitals just over the Dominican border, officials there say.

But United States officials say they worry that in the coming weeks, worsening conditions in Haiti could spur an exodus. They have not only started a campaign to persuade Haitians to stay put, but they are also laying plans to scoop up any boats carrying illegal immigrants and send them to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Department of Homeland Security officials have also transferred 200 illegal immigrants from the Krome Service Processing Center here — a federal jail for people awaiting deportation — to make room for a possible influx of Haitian migrants.

The State Department has also been denying many seriously injured people in Port-au-Prince visas to be transferred to Miami for surgery and treatment, said Dr. William O’Neill, the dean of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, which has erected a field hospital near the airport there.

“It’s beyond insane,” Dr. O’Neill said Saturday, having just returned to Miami from Haiti. “It’s bureaucracy at its worse.”

Again, if Mr. Bush were still President, this would be in the headline and the lead paragraph of this article.

Customs officials have allowed a total of 23 Haitians into the United States on humanitarian grounds for medical treatment, said a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

And late Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the United States would allow some orphaned children to enter the country temporarily on an individual basis.

312,000 illegal aliens from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras have been allowed to stay ‘temporarily’ in the US after Hurricane Mitch, which occurred more than ten years ago.

And, as we have previously noted, last Friday Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted similar ‘temporary protected status’ to 200,000 Haitians who are currently residing in the US.

A State Department spokesman, Noel Clay, said the United States had not suspended its visa requirements for Haitians trying to flee the disaster, even though the Department of Homeland Security has halted the deportations of Haitians already in the United States illegally

In the Dominican Republic, officials have adopted a similar stance. The secretary of foreign relations has ordered only Haitians with medical emergencies allowed into the country, and the Army has established checkpoints on roads leading from the border

Few experts on immigration expect droves of Haitians to take to the seas in flimsy boats right away, though they add that it is hard to predict what will happen in the coming weeks. Most earthquake victims are still struggling to find food and water; they are in no condition to plan and provision a sea voyage. In addition, the Coast Guard currently has five cutters patrolling Haitian waters.

Lt. Commander Chris O’Neil said the Coast Guard had not spotted any boats leaving Haiti with refugees on Monday. “None, zero,” he said, “and no indication of anyone making preparations to do so.” He said anyone caught leaving the island and heading toward Florida would be returned to Haiti.

Oddly enough, this New York Times article does not even mention the possibility of Cuba as a destination.

But why would Haitians flee to the United States when they have the workers paradise of Cuba and free healthcare only 90 miles from their shore?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “DHS/DOD Tell Haitians Not To Flee To US”

  1. Right of the People says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t gone over the border to the Dominican Republic, after all, it is the other half of the same island. They probably are afraid the Dominican Army would shoot them, they don’t have to worry about that coming here. Plus our welfare system is much better too.

    And for that matter, didn’t the earthquake affect the Dominican too? I haven’t seen any stories about that.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    I hear there’s a private beach nearby.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    Haitians should immigrate to Quebec, they know the language.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Too bad we can’t adopt the same policy for the No Habla’s that are invading us from the Mexican Border.
    Forgive me…..I forgot. These illegals have rights!!

  5. Tater Salad says:

    The U.S. caused the earthquake in Haiti from the Hugo Chavez perspective.


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