Tension grows in the border with Dominican Republic as Haitians try to escape by Daniel Shoer Roth The Miami Herald Saturday 10.16.10 splutters:
Dominican officials along the border with Haiti confirmed on Friday that they were expecting tens of thousands of refugees…The Dominican Republic's secretary of foreign relations distributed a protocol to all government agencies (about)...the entry of Haitians…The document specifies which cases qualify: those with medical emergencies or safety problems.The document also states that those who enter under these conditions will be required to return once they have recovered and conditions in Haiti have improved.
And (unlike American officials talking about border policing) the Dominicans mean what they say
"The border has been reinforced with…soldiers...in order to make shore that no illegal immigrants are coming in by taking advantage of the situation,'' said Richard Trinidad Benitez, the general supervisor of the immigration office at the Jiman, crossing.
Meanwhile, in America, the efforts to surf the tidal wave of emotionalism about the earthquake to achieve larger importation of Haitians are intensifying.
Reeling Haitians might need South Florida sanctuary Michael Mayo, Sun Sentinel.com January 16, 2010
is a classic example:
There's sure to be a wave of Haitian immigration and emergency relocation here in coming months, legal and illegal, by every conceivable method…
Whatever your immigration stance, whatever your political ideology, this is one of those rare cases when survival of the desperate should trump everything.
If it means an airlift of Haitian children into South Florida along the lines of the Pedro Pan operation out of Cuba in the early 1960s, something that's been suggested by some charities, so be it.
If it means granting Haitians temporary visas for a year while Port-au-Prince rebuilds, so be it.
If it means allowing South Florida's large Haitian community to open their homes to needy relatives and friends for the next few months, so be it.
Mayo does at least have the integrity to give space to a dissenter, Joyce Tarnow of Floridians for Sustainable Population. And she has the necessary quality of cold reason:
Where are all those people supposed to go?
"Tent cities in Haiti," said Joyce Tarnow… "Give them all the help they need, but don't bring them to this country."
Tarnow, who moved to North Florida from Pompano Beach because of overcrowding, is opposed to any temporary relief measures.
"We have to enforce our borders," she said. "There's nothing more permanent than a temporary visa."