For some reason, the Washington Post is a strong supporter of "solving" Haiti's problems by supporting massive immigration from that country. They've done that through at least one article, at least one guest editorial, and now an editorial.
However, what they support would make the situation in both the U.S. and Haiti worse: it would add workers to the U.S. labor market while millions are unemployed, it would help make Haiti even more dependent on the U.S., it would further braindrain that country, and it would make reforms in that country even less likely. See the entries on the Haiti page for the details, including shocking statistics that the Washington Post would make even worse.
In the editorial, they say among other things (link):
Most Haitians on these waiting lists (as part of chain migration), plus 19,000 who have applications in the pipeline, are going to wind up in the United States eventually. Speeding their resettlement here -- perhaps in monthly airlifts of 5,000 or 10,000 -- would help in critical ways. First, it would reduce the overwhelming numbers of destitute Haitians who will need to be housed, fed and cared for, in many cases by U.S. and international groups operating in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere. Second, it would provide an orderly procedure to relieve the pressure building in a country where almost no one currently has a means of exit. Keeping people bottled up in a place as wrecked as Haiti is a sure-fire way to make desperate people more desperate; it raises the risk of violence, instability and chaotic exodus. Third, it would increase the pool of Haitians working in the United States who, even before the quake, provided an estimated one-third of Haiti's gross domestic product by sending cash remittances to their families.
1. They're falsely assuming that we have to allow people to emigrate from Haiti; we have no such responsibility.
2. Their idea of a long-term solution to Haiti's problems is to basically allow as many people as possible to move to the U.S. That's an unworkable, childlike policy.
3. Those who aren't as incredibly corrupt as the Washington Post should be able to come up with a long-term vision for the country that would reduce the possibility of a "chaotic exodus", yet the WaPo isn't suggesting such a thing.
4. If someone's going to be "destitute", it's better in a low-cost economy like Haiti rather than bringing them to a high-cost economy. Given the unemployment situation, those who got jobs would do so at the expense of an American worker; those who didn't would get public assistance at a greater cost than in Haiti.
5. Remittances are like living off candy. If the WaPo weren't completely corrupt they'd suggest building sustainable industries in Haiti and developing a long-term plan to encourage the support in that country for such sustainability.
Sat, 01/30/2010 - 13:08 · Importance: 4