Turmoil in Haiti
If you have watched the national news you have noted a mass influx of people from Haiti crossing our southern border with some 16,000 more reportedly on the way. Why are those island people coming to immigrate to the United States? Haiti with the reputation of being the poorest nation in this hemisphere. I have a theory and it includes a memory of a terrible earthquake that devastated the island eleven and a half years ago. After the earthquake, our military went into the capital of Port Au Prince, repaired the major runway, and established air traffic control. All sorts of aircraft from countries in the region and civilian volunteers flew in to render aid to get the country livable again. The governor’s mansion was destroyed and the government, a dictatorship, did not function so our military stepped in to restore some semblance of order. I was reminded of the end of WWII when Germany was in a similar state of chaos.
I wondered at the time why the United States didn’t step up and assign governors to each of the Haitian providences and major cities to establish order as we and our allies did in Germany. In that devastated country that led to holding the civil peace until local governments were established to take over and the country became prosperous again. Then our people left and West Germany could govern on their own. Nothing like that happened in Haiti and the dictator regained power again continuing the total dysfunction that was Haiti before the earthquake.
I am aware of three friends that rendered personal aid to the people of Haiti before and after their earthquake. One, our local McDonald’s owner, loaded his personal airplane with needed items and flew to Florida. There an organization had formed to organize aid flights to that island nation and my friend then flew on into Haiti to deliver his planeload of items to help. He told of unloading then ready to fly back home noticed a swarm of kids on the outside of the fence begging. It touched his heart so he took his lunch and anything else he could find in his airplane and took it to the kids who scrambled frantically for each piece. He said it touched his heart.
Another friend spends part of the Nebraska winter getting away to a more southern climate and helps a Christian organization to help people mired in poverty. This friend told of helping rebuild ruined homes somewhere in Haiti. He was responsible for installing electrical wiring and became disgusted when only 110-volt wiring was installed. He wanted to run wires to carry 220 volts for air-conditioning but whoever was in charge vetoed the notion.
A third friend, a registered nurse, did a volunteer tour again with a Christian organization and she helped out in a daycare for young children. They fed 1000 children each day some of which walked three to four miles for their only meal of the day. It was heart-wrenching to see all those little kids existing in a total state of poverty. No electricity or running water in their homes. She happened to be there a few months before the last big earthquake and noted all the poor little houses up a steep mountain slope that looked to her would all be destroyed in an earthquake. That is of course what happened. Thousands were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. Again heart wrenching.
In the early 1970s this old pilot had the privilege of checking out in the C-47, WWII vintage cargo aircraft, in preparation for my fourth trip to Vietnam. Fortunately, the Vietnam War ended before I could head west. We did the training at Hulbert AFB in southwest Florida. Hulbert was also conducting training for allied Central American military forces plus those from Laos.
My fellow student was from the Dominican Republic which shares a large island with Haiti. Lieutenant Mike had nothing good to say about his Haitian neighbors and his country maintained a tight fence (border wall) to keep the populations separated. The Dominican Republic seemed to have somewhat a republican style of government with a dictator at the head. Anyhow they seemed to be much more prosperous as a country than their neighbor.
Now I can understand how Haitian families would want to better themselves by moving to the United States. Evidently, they somehow find transportation across the sea to Panama then walk the way north. Most have no money so there is a question of who is paying their way. Is it done on credit by the Mexican Cartels or is some other entity backing the move? Some according to lettering on their Tee shirts they thank President Biden for inviting them. Once they cross the border most seem to be processed by the Border Patrol and then are transported into our interior. Even though most speak only the Haitian Creole language how do they get gainfully employed with no ability to speak English? Are they immediately eligible for welfare payments and free medical care in this country? Will we the American taxpayer foot the bill to teach their children English and go to school?
So many questions and no good answers except one. That is to vote wisely in the next federal election and elect representatives that will cause our immigration laws to be enforced.
That is the way I saw it.