Insight News

Feb 13th

Help Haitian immigration

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Just a few days after an earthquake rocked the impoverished nation of Haiti, the Obama administration, moved to provide a new status for Haitian immigrants currently living illegally in U.S. Known as temporary protected status, this designation will protect illegal Haitian immigrants from deportation for at least a year and a half.  Under this new status, individuals who once had to work under the table and hide from the government will be allowed to apply for jobs, receive government funds to finance their education and more. In short, they can lead the types of lives they came to the U.S. looking for.

While this is a good first step, the administration needs to go further by opening doors of legal immigration to those in Haiti who need to flee the devastated nation and not just to those who are here already.  During the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of Vietnamese came to our shore seeking refuse and we opened our doors to them. In the 80s, thousands of Cubans came to the U.S. to flee the allegedly oppressive regime of Fidel Castro. More recently, during the 1998 conflict in the Balkans, the U.S. welcomed refugees from Kosovo and fast tracked their status.  

What has been done before, for those in other countries devastated by war or natural disaster, should be done for Haitians seeking a new start. Haiti has a rich history but it is currently in a state of turmoil. Even before the earthquake, the average Haitian struggled to find jobs and to support their families. With so much destroyed, life in the country will only get harder.

As Americans, we talk so much about the good we do around the world. Indeed, we provide funds and aid to countries in need.  Even though we are in the midst of an economic crisis, the U.S. is still one of the most privileged nations on the planet. We are in a position to help.  This country can and should develop and expedite a plan to bring Haitians in need of a new life to the U.S.  
Judge Greg Mathis became the youngest judge in Michigan’s history and was elected a Superior Court Judge for Michigan’s 36th District. He has been called upon as a regular contributor to national television programs, including “Larry King Live,” “Politically Incorrect,” CNN's "Talk Back Live,” “Showbiz Tonight” and “Extra” to discuss his opinions on complex issues of the day, such as national security, unique sentencing, affirmative action and celebrity scandals. He also offers his take on high-profile legal cases.

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