Ten Things the US Can and Should Do for Haiti

From Common Dreams:

One. Allow all Haitians in the US to work. The number one source of money for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers in the US back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a chance. Haitians in the US will continue to help when the world community moves on to other problems.

Two. Do not allow US military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians. Hungry Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which will militarize the humanitarian relief – but do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Do not demonize the people.

Three. Give Haiti grants as help, not loans. Haiti does not need any more debt. Make sure that the relief given helps Haiti rebuild its public sector so the country can provide its own citizens with basic public services.

Four. Prioritize humanitarian aid to help women, children and the elderly. They are always moved to the back of the line. If they are moved to the back of the line, start at the back.

Five. President Obama can enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with the stroke of a pen. Do it. The US has already done it for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan and Somalia. President Obama should do it on Martin Luther King Day.

(Number five, (Temp. protected status) has been granted since the article above was written)


  1. As someone who worked with the SeaBees in Somalia you can’t do number 4 with out doing number 2. People will take what they can and the strong will crush the weak to do it. A hungry person will kill to get food and men being generally bigger and stronger will take the food of the women and children.

    Surviving a disaster in the United States is nothing like surviving one in the 3rd world.

  2. One. Allow all Haitians in the US to work.

    If they can’t work in the US, it’s because they are here illegally.

    #1 Should read:
    “One. Allow any immigrant, Haitians or otherwise, that entered this country legally the right to work.”

    So the US needs more dept? Maybe we should have just ask China for grants instead of loans.

    The problem with #4 & #2 has already been pointed out by Skipjack.

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