The Miami Herald reported yesterday that 9 Haitian migrants (at least) died after their smuggler's boat capsized en route from Bimini to Miami. This is the latest tragedy at sea and these tragedies will continue until the failed regional economic and immigration policies of past administrations - both Republican AND Democratic - are changed. Specifically, the Obama team needs to:
-remove the disparity in the treatment of Haitian and Cuban refugees
-eliminate the absurd "wet foot/dry foot" policy
-commit to mitigating illegal migration from the Caribbean using the same tools we've used in Mexico for decades: trade incentives, tariff elimination, job stimulation programs and poverty reduction projects.
Haiti, our most desperately needy neighbor, gets as much U.S. attention as most distant African countries with similar poverty...out of sight, out of mind. Cuba, with its catastrophic economic failures augmented by a 40+ year old U.S. trade embargo which has succeeded only in keeping U.S. interests from influencing the island (while Eurocapitalism,focused on tourism, cigars, jineteras and rum thrives).
Enough is enough already, Mr. President. It is long past due time to get our regional house in order.