by Jay Lorenz
The Trump administration announced last Monday that it would end a program which gave almost 60,000 Haitians Temporary Protected Status in the United States. Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the country has remained in a state of total dysfunction. The poor conditions had been used by Barack Obama as a reason to extend the status, which had to be renewed periodically, indefinitely. The Haitians now have 18 months to leave America or face deportation after their status was officially terminated on November 23.
This is a common sense move, but with the state of the U.S. government in recent years, common sense is refreshing. It’s doubtful that anyone else who ran for president would take even this smallest of actions in national self-interest; they would have kept protecting the Haitians and touted it as a humanitarian feat. It is decisions like this that remind us why we’re better off with Trump in the White House. One of Trump’s greatest accomplishments thus far is his cuts to humanitarian spending and refugee programs. Earlier this month, the administration pulled the status of 2,500 Nicaraguans, giving them 14 months to leave the United States. These humanitarian programs have been used for years to pour the most unsuitable of all possible people into America, while dumping cash into parts of the world that are incapable of development in the Western sense.
Failed presidential candidate Marco Rubio was the strongest voice against the decision in the Republican Party. In an op-ed for the Miami Herald, Rubio claimed that Americans “benefited significantly from their presence in and contributions to our country.” He also lamented the “dire conditions, including lack of housing, inadequate health services and low prospects for employment” Haitians would have in their own country, while claiming that the new policy would “impede its ability to recover completely and improve its security.”
This begs the question: what exactly does a full recovery look like for Haiti? Rubio points out the poor conditions in Haiti, but never explains why, simply insinuating that it is all due to the earthquake. However, Haiti was one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world before the earthquake. What standard are we basing a recovery off of? Even if Haiti reached its pre-earthquake conditions, it would still have all of the problems Rubio mentions. Trying to pull these people up to a First World quality of life simply is not going to happen. Rubio wants to nation-build in Haiti on behalf of “our shared principles of freedom and democracy.” This rhetoric is reminiscent of the failed neocon foreign policy of George W. Bush, and that is why politicians like Rubio are being spurned by Republican voters. Republican voters are realizing that they don’t share values with the Africans in Haiti, and Haitians don’t belong in our country.