Relationship between United States and Haiti


This research considers the contemporary relationship between the United States and Haiti. One aspect of this relationship tends to portray the United States as a champion and protector of Haitians. This aspect of the relationship is illustrated by American support for ousted Haitian president Aristides and the application of economic sanctions to Haiti's military government. A second aspect of the relationship between the United States and Haiti casts the United States as a nation that is prejudiced against Haitians, as Haitian refugees are refused easy entry into the United States, while refugees from Cuba and many other countries are welcomed to the United States (Amnesty International 2; Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 5).

The reasons for the ambiguous American approach to Haiti and Haitian refugees are both numerous and complicated. Haitian immigration to the United States has increased in spite of the efforts of the Bush and Clinton Administrations to restrain and turn back the flow. In 1988, legal Haitian immigration to the United States reached a highpoint of just under 35,000 persons (Department of Commerce 12). In 1991 and 1992, this number would have been vastly exceeded, had it not been for the interdiction policy of the Bush Administration. A similar situation exists in 1993 under the Clinton Administration. In the 19781987 period, a total of only 93 thousand Haitians legally immigrated to the United States.



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