Right Move, Wrong Reason
In an attempt to ensure the flow of remittances to devastated Haiti, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday that the Obama administration would temporarily grant legal status to the tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants who were living in the United States illegally before this week's earthquake.
But Napolitano emphasized that Haitians living in the island nation would not be eligible for temporary protected status, and would be repatriated if they attempted to enter the country, an implicit acknowledgment of the fear, thus far unrealized, that the earthquake could trigger a mass migration of Haitians to U.S. shores. [Emphasis added]
OK, so we'll let the illegals stay and allow them to find a job in an essentially jobless economy so they can send money back to Haiti for reconstruction so that we don't have to. That should make the illegals happy. It also should make Rush Limbaugh happy. Easy fix, that.
Shades of Barbara Bush!
Fortunately, people in Florida have a more realistic view, as the article points out:
Since the earthquake, the demand for the protected status had been taken up by a swelling chorus of advocates, including Haitian American activists, immigrant rights groups and conservative Cuban American lawmakers in Florida, such as Republican U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. ...
If Haitians do travel to Florida en masse, officials here say they are ready. They are already familiar with the realities of mass migration. ...
In Miami-Dade County this week, officials held numerous meetings to tweak what is officially called the "Change in Caribbean Government Plan" to provide medical aid, screening and temporary housing to large numbers of Haitians.
The county school district has worked up a plan that would include opening three large refugee acceptance centers and converting a district-owned hospital building to a live-in center for as many as 500 refugee children. Separately, the Archdiocese of Miami has proposed establishing a program to bring large numbers of Haitian orphans to the area.
Apparently Floridians, including Rep. Lincold Diaz-Balart, remember Emma Lazarus and her famous sonnet. Unfortunately, apparently the Obama administration does not. Here's a reminder for them.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
[Note: the linked LAT article is worth visiting for several reasons, not the least of which is the haunting photograph by Carolyn Cole which accompanies it.]