How many Haitian Refugees will land in the USA?
January 15, 2010
U.S. Preparing for Potential New Wave of Haitians Fleeing NorthFox News
Haitians have been trying to come to the United States by boat for more than three decades, and U.S. officials are preparing for a potential new refugee crisis after this week's devastating earthquake.
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security is "formulating" plans in case Haitians try to flee their earthquake-ravaged country for the United States, federal officials told FOX News.
For more than three decades, Haitians have been trying to come to the United States by boat, whether driven by poverty or political strife. As of Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard had not encountered anyone in the waters off Haiti trying to reach the U.S. mainland, according to one official, but top U.S. officials have been engaged in "continuing discussions" in case things change, sources say.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top department officials have been conferring with the heads of the U.S. Coast Guard, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about "our capabilities in the region," one source said.
One Homeland Security official described the "continuing discussions" within the department as "a process to figure out what the posture's going to be" if Haitians try to flee what was already considered one of the poorest countries in the world.
In the end, the "senior leadership" at Homeland Security, in consultation with the Defense Department and Justice Department, will make the final decision, the official said.
Last night CBS stated that there are 850,000 Haitians living in the USA now. I’m sure every one of them would like to bring in all their relatives. Every time there is a storm in that area, we take in ‘temporary’ refugees, they never leave.
Not to mention, Obama is already an advocate of greater Haitian immigration. This will be all the excuse he needs.
“He also said there should be greater equity across the board for immigrants as well, pointing out that “it’s much harder for Haitians to immigrate, despite similar circumstances in need” as other groups that have been admitted legally.”
“Haitians living abroad, ..... Most of that diaspora is concentrated in the United States, totaling 850,000 to 1 million people.”
“Two weeks ago, the Bush administration announced it would extend temporary protected status to an estimated 300,000 Honduran, Nicaraguan and Salvadoran nationals who have been allowed to stay for years after natural disasters struck their countries.
It was granted to Hondurans and Nicaraguans after Hurricane Mitch hit in 1998 and to Salvadorans after a series of earthquakes in 2001.
While immigrant advocates argue it’s unfair to deny Haiti the same benefit afforded those countries, opponents say the fact that the immigrants from those other places are still in the US is proof the system doesn’t work.
“If Bush had ended the TPS for the Central American countries, then we would be in favour of TPS for Haitians,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, which advocates reduced immigration. “The reason we don’t is that there’s no ‘T’ in TPS.”
UPDATE Jan. 21, 2010:
This is a photo of Haitians being airlifted to the US in cargo planes. They're headed for Orlando