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Should the United States soften its stance on Haitian immigration?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 26, 2010

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Photo of Daisy DeKnight

“I’d say yes, at least for the time being, because those people really could use some extra compassion.”

Photo of Brook Partain

“Yes definitely, they need a place to go.”

Photo of Breanna Ellison

“I think they should soften the rules because they should try and help the people right now … and later they can go back (to the previous rules).”

Photo of Bo Atlas

“No, I don’t think they should. We have enough problems with immigration as it is, especially with our southern border.”


RoeDapple 8 years ago

yup i wuz jes thinkin if the us wudd liten up i wud emmygrate to hatti

Brent Fry 8 years ago

Thank God there is at least one sane person on the street. Why don't we just give everything we have to Haiti? Good grief people, we (the US) can barely take care of ourselves. And if you asked most of the people in Lawrence, they'd say we should just give up our homes and everything we have to the the people of Haiti.

I'm not trying to discount what happened in Haiti. It was tragic. But so far, the American public has donated like $365million to Haiti relief. Do you think if we were asked to do the same for America relief, that we would? Hell no. Everyone would complain that we're already taxed too much as is.

Scott Drummond 8 years ago

Spacehog, the corporate and chamber of commerce interests want lots of cheap labor and a labor force that is always at a disadvantage in terms of the wage demands they can make and the politicians they buy make sure that they get what they want. Don't look for real control of our borders in our lifetimes. In fact, now that these interests don't have to worry about us pesky voters interfering with their wishes (thank you right wing activist Supreme Court justices,) I'd look for it to get much worse over the next 5-10 years.

Mixolydian 8 years ago

No. But perhaps do what we can to help adoptions from Haiti.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

not a chance. There is no way to help everyone by bringing them to America. You have to help them to help themselves where they are.

parrothead8 8 years ago

CMM (Anonymous) says… But so far, the American public has donated like $365million to Haiti relief. Do you think if we were asked to do the same for America relief, that we would? Hell no. Everyone would complain that we're already taxed too much as is.

I think you've got it wrong. The American public contributed far more than $365M to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and I didn't hear anyone complaining about pitching in then. That's not really the American way. We moan and whine over our government, but when something really bad happens and people are in real trouble, that's when Americans who aren't politicians usually shine by pitching in and working together.

50YearResident 8 years ago

Help me out here, when did Haiti become the 51st State? Was I out of town when that occured?

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

I'd rather the feds concentrate on sending more illegal aliens home. That includes the aunt of Dear Leader.

jehovah_bob 8 years ago

50year -- actually I think Puerto Rico is our 51st state.

Haitians are French, send them to Quebec.

Haitians have nothing to offer but a bunch of mind erasing super humans.

asbury 8 years ago

LOL. Not very reverant, but I can't help myself!!

puddleglum 8 years ago

naw, get those people outta here...they didn't pay for our roads, stoplights, schools and welfare.

I hear cuba is a nice alternative.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

RETICENT_IRREVERENT Thanks much for the thought. I am now trying to decide if you are anti-Irish, anti-Haitian or anti-Catholic or all three. Haiti is now 60% Catholic and 40% Protestant. Before you can get a permit to build a church in that country you have to agree to build a school also. There is so much to be done in that country that I wouldn't even know where to begin. But, I believe that no Haitian should emigrate anywhere, but should stay and help to rebuild Haiti. This would be a good opportunity for Habitat for Humanity where the poor person puts in sweat equity.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

excitedly i like brussel sprouts!!! duz that mek me french? i youshally don't like them furreners but them frenchies make good fried shoestring taters.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

I am now trying to decide if you are anti-Irish, anti-Haitian or anti-Catholic or all three. :-) Okay, better? That is what I meant. Don't call me hon. Panties in a bunch? Cliche. Oh, man, I'm not as good as Spacehog! Well, my self-esteem just plummeted! Not!

Deja Coffin 8 years ago

My question is why do Americans always feel like it's up to us to save everyone? Does England or Japan worry able other countries on the level we do? It's like this country tries to fix everything and ends up fixing nothing. Why not focus on one thing at a time. Maybe if we took the time to actually focus on the top issues effecting Americans today and did more then put a band aid on a gushing wound we'd be better equipped in the future to help other countries. Just saying....

Frightwig 8 years ago

Encouraging Haitians to abandon their country is a horrible idea. We should help them rebuild instead. Loosening immigration rules will result in a flotilla of overcrowded rickety boats through dangerous waters in an effort to reach the US. Things have been bad enough for Haitians as it is. The last thing I want to hear about is more Haitian deaths, this time as a result of drowning.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Considering their epic fail of the past 200 years, the Haitians should invite the French to come back & run things for a while.

Danimal 8 years ago

Has anyone considered that we should have been sending aid to Haiti before the earthquakes? The problem with Haiti (aside from the natural disasters) is that it's full of uneducated and unemployed Haitians. This isn't some racist or xenophobic comment, it's true. I'll cite the Dominican Republic as evidence since they share an island. Letting all the Haitians come here won't solve anything. In fact they'd probably be worse off here since they would be virtually unable to provide for themselves since they are generally functionally illiterate and lacking in any job skills.

After we clean up the rubble, the best thing we can do as Americans is rebuild their hospitals and schools so they can learn to help themselves. I know the truth is hard to swallow, but look at the refugees that have been brought to Kansas City from other basket case countries like Rwanda, and Uganda. The US refugee system is overwhelmed and underfunded right now as it is. Instead of receiving the minimal education necessary to be productive here, many of these refugees end up languishing in poverty in a dangerous neighborhood somewhere.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

what's this about a red dog?......

50YearResident 8 years ago

No Haitians for welfare. We all know if they come over here they will be on the government teat for the rest of their life and all their kids born will be US citizens on the welfare roles too. Leave them in their own country! The US has to borrow money from China to just give aid to the Haitians.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

them godderned liberal whippersnappers! i agree w/ you, 50year! next thing them dirty furreners will be eating up all the government cheese. and then they'll be constipated and guess who will pay for their immodium a.d.? we will by cracky-- we will! the gridlock will be enormous! haitians by the thousands will be stopped up and our medicaid system will be paying for their laxatives! the nerve of them furreners!!!

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

yes i did, autie. it scared me.

la vie est une chienne and alors, tu mort.

that was for spacehog... the only bit of philosophy i know en francais but its a good bit, no?

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

"Has anyone considered that we should have been sending aid to Haiti before the earthquakes?" Glad you asked that question. The answer is we sent them 208 M in economic aid in 2007 and another 162 M in foreign grants and credits the same year. I didn't check the figures for 2008. 2009 wasn't on the pdf I saw. How much do you think got whizzed away or wound up in the pockets of their ruling class?

think_about_it 8 years ago

Would that make them African Americans, Haitian Americans, or Caribbean Americans? Which box would they check under race when they sign up for the free-for-all-cradle-to-grave-nanny-state-giveaway?

bendover61 8 years ago

Great idea, everyone that wants to immigrate to Hati should be allowed to go.

LadyJ 8 years ago

I keep thinking about how the crime rate went up in Texas when they took in all the Hurricane Katrina refugees. How would they be able to check for criminal backgrounds if people probably have no ID to show. I would say let the children come in some sort of foster program like they did with the kids from England during the war until their families got on their feet, but many of them probably suffered abuse and the same would probably happen now. To bad we can't send them the lefover government mobile homes from Katrina that are still setting around. I hear that large shipping crates are being used to build houses, we could sent them those. Just some random thoughts.

newbee2 8 years ago

What about the Dominican Republic? Isn't that on the same island? Last time I heard, they didn't suffer from the earthquake! Gee, wouldn't it make sense to try to get those people to the other side of the island and then we can help the Dominican Republic with the displaced people from Haiti. That way when rebuilding begins, those fit enough to return to Haiti only have to travel to the other side of the island to start rebuilding their lives and infrastructure. Seems like common sense to me.

newbee2 8 years ago

I don't know if my idea is acceptable to the majority, but seems like it would be cheaper to keep them there. We are in a recession. Americans are out of work. Our local governments have cut programs, private employers and government agencies have laid people off, our governments are talking tax hikes just to meet their current budgets. We bring these people here, what are they going to do, when qualified, educated Americans can't even find quality jobs to pay the mortgage? Can our welfare systems carry this burden, because you know they would all jump on the first Navy ship and come here if we let them? I want to help them, but let's be fiscally responsible and let's help them in a way that will let them stay in their homeland and rebuild something better for themselves. The American Dream is out of reach for a great many Americans already. How many of you are living as comfortably today as you did 10 years ago? How has your family had to sacrifice? Why can't some people get that and do something that is intelligent for a change instead of ask "Should we lax Haitian immigration"? Quick fixes create more problems! Makes me feel like running for election! Just kidding.

yanman 8 years ago

Would that make them African Americans, Haitian Americans, or Caribbean Americans? Which box would they check under race when they sign up for the free-for-all-cradle-to-grave-nanny-state-giveaway?

As long as they check "Democrat" in the voting booth this administration doesn't care what other boxes they select.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

newbee, you know what? i actually thought about that too... i was wondering what them folks in the D.R. were doing. probably sitting around, being as quiet as humanly possible....

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

it is rather weird. maybe speaking bastardized french is more of a smite to the earthquake gods than speaking bastardized spanish. shrugs shoulders

jonas_opines 8 years ago

We should soften all of our immigration stances. At least nine out of every ten people posting here is decended from an immigrant, I bet.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

i'm descended from immigrants, folks who were kidnapped and shipped over here against their will, and people who were already here.

tbaker 8 years ago

So the fact I too am decended from immigrants presupposes I should be in favor of ignoring the laws of this country? This "decended from immigrants" argument is moronic. All of us came from people who immigrated / were taken to North America from some other continent at some point in human history. That said, in a day in age when I can qualify for a mortage on-line without even talking to someone, there is absolutley no reason why a immigrant should have to wait a decade-plus to be given citizenship. How come 19th century Ellis Island was more efficient than the current INS?

"Soften" the laws? How about fix them so they actually work?

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