U.S. Prepping Guantanamo For Thousands of Haitian Refugees

Back in 2004, plans were made to house up to 50,000 boat people from Haiti who had fled trying to get to the U.S. at Guantanamo. The idea was to hold them at Guantanamo until they could be returned to Haiti.

Now, the U.S. is planning to do it again.

The U.S. has begun preparing tents at Guantanamo Bay for Haitians migrants in case of a mass migration spurred by the earthquake, a senior official at the base said Wednesday.

About 100 tents, each capable of holding 10 people, have been erected and authorities have more than 1,000 more on hand in case waves of Haitians leave their homeland and are captured at sea, said Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Copeman.

Only Haitians who were in the U.S. on January 12, the day of the earthquake, will be granted Temporary Protected Status and allowed into the U.S. to live and work. So what they are saying is we are going to house Haitians in refugee tents until they can be returned to Haiti? How many years will that take? [More...]

How does this match up with President Obama's promise to Haiti last week, "You will have a friend and partner in the people of the United States today, and going forward?"

The Haitians need schools for their children, jobs and homes, not warehousing in tents on a foreign island patrolled by military guards. Surely there must be a better and more humane solution.

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  • Display: Sort:
    How many years, you ask? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 05:47:39 AM EST
    Well, how many years were Palestinians in refugee camps after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948?  Oh, wait.......they're still there.  I guess refugee camps can exist indefinitely.

    Why can't the US, Canada, Europe (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 08:34:07 AM EST
    and other wealthy nations get together and agree to allow refugees to live in their countries until they can safely return home to rebuild their country, or get on the path to citizenship...whatever they choose.

    Wouldn't that be cool?

    And I can't help but wonder...if the disaster happened in Cuba, would the refugees be bound for Miami?  That double standard always bugged me.

    What's the big deal? (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 08:34:47 AM EST
    To quote Barbara Bush:

    "And so many of the people... here, you know, were underprivilged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."

    Let them in (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 08:55:23 AM EST

    Let them in.  Let them work.