IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti KUDOS TO IDB
The decision by the Inter American Development Bank to offer Haiti an additional $50 million in assistance next year may be the best news that beleaguered Caribbean country has received in a long time. In a nation as poor as Haiti, that extra aid should make a difference in the lives of some of the neediest people.
”Haiti is the most fragile of our member countries,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno when he announced the grant last weekend. “No other nation in Latin America and the Caribbean is as vulnerable to economic shocks and natural disasters. As such, it requires extraordinary assistance from the international community.”
He’s right. Simply giving Haiti more money won’t put it on a stable footing, but the level of destitution is such that the country can’t even begin to think about stability or rebuilding until it can improve its ability to feed and house its people and restart the economy.
That requires foreign aid. Other nations and international organizations should follow the IDB’s example.
ICE: THUMBS DOWN
If the IDB is part of the solution for Haiti, the U.S. government agency that enforces immigration is part of the problem. By any measure, Haiti is ill-prepared to care for more destitute people, yet Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — has resumed deportations after a brief respite because of the devastation wreaked by this year’s storms.
This wrongheaded decision makes no sense at all. The country remains in dire straits, a nation suffering from hunger, misery and a host of associated ills, yet ICE cited ”the circumstances in Haiti” as the basis for resuming deportations.
Six South Florida members of Congress — three Democrats and three Republicans — have appealed to the White House to adopt a more compassionate position. ”Sending Haitian nationals back to Haiti is both inhumane and unsafe,” Republican lawmakers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in their joint letter.
Mr. President, are you listening?