News & Views

Haitians Also Need Our Help

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of supporters have come forward in support of Afghans forced to flee, in large part because of our own actions. Haiti, at almost the same moment, has experienced tremendous blows to their own country’s stability—first the assassination of their President and then the most recent earthquake. While these displacing crises are not clearly because of American actions, there are several dots to connect to the US in terms of climate change, our failed policies around this, and our failed interventions with governments across the world, including Haiti, meant to protect our interests.

In addition, we have our own several crises to address—huge staffing crises across multiple industries and multiple skill levels, more than a decade of declining birth rates which have shrunk our tax base and fed the staffing crises, increases in death due to COVID-19 and its politicization, and rising gun violence. Because of all of this, we desperately need immigrants—whether Haitian, Afghan, Central American, or from any other place. Immigrants, if treated humanely, welcomed, provided with integration supports, given immunization against COVID-19, and educated and encouraged to participate in our democracy are a direct response to all of these crises.

And perhaps more importantly, worldwide displacement is the highest it has ever been and will continue to rise dramatically as climate change and its ripple effects—scarcity of resources, destruction of property, reshaping of land and sea masses—grows. Now is the time to advocate for more immigrants, not fewer. Alarm over the numbers of Haitians at our border and Afghans in need of help is unwarranted and inhumane. These are large numbers, absolutely. But they are numbers of people, not just numbers. And there are much larger numbers of open positions across the U.S. and larger numbers of people needed to repopulate our cities, towns, and counties and larger numbers of tax dollars needed to fund our basic services. Welcoming is a moral imperative, an economic one and the healthiest thing we can do for each other.

Connect the dots and advocate—for immigrants, for your neighbors, for your country, for yourselves! This toolkit, prepared by a national organization, provides background information and scripts to advocate for Haitians at our border.