Letter: U.S. policy is the root of Haiti’s migration problems

·1 min read

The solution to the Haitian migrant crisis has been in front of President Joe Biden, but he refuses to see it.

He’s returning Haitians from the Mexico border and the high seas to a nation in institutional collapse because of years of a proactively heavy-handed American policy.

This policy installed its current leaders, whose anti-democratic repression, corruption and outright thievery have depleted the nation.

The result has been scandalous corruption, power grabs, more than a decade’s worth of unfair elections, a terrorized population and judiciary and a defunct parliament, a civil society united in its opposition to the president long before his assassination , out-of-control kidnappings and gang violence.

But there is good news. Competent, experienced and committed leaders of Haitian civil society have gathered to form the Commission for a Haitian Solution to the Crisis and recently published a plan for a democratic way forward.

America cares little what happens in Haiti, but much about what happens at our borders.

Our current Haiti policy has encouraged the desperation and migration, and the immorality of forcibly returning people to such conditions.

Biden must support Haitian civil society. Haitians there and here have been yelling themselves hoarse urging this. They want to live in their own country.

Let’s discard our misguided policies and start supporting the same basic democratic values in Haiti that we champion for ourselves.

Change won’t happen overnight. But hope can and will if we just remove the blinders.

Steve Forester,

immigration policy

coordinator,

Institute for Justice &

Democracy in Haiti,

Boston, MA

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