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Haiti no place to send refugees

The U.S. is in the process of deporting thousands of Haitian refugees who have gathered at the Texas border, sending them back to a country that has little to offer them.

Haiti is the western hemisphere’s poorest nation. It has been ravaged by major earthquakes not once, but twice in the past 11 years, once in 2010 and again this year. The earthquakes have been followed by hurricanes and tropical storms.

The country is in the midst of political upheaval, its president recently assassinated, its military trying to set up a government. Its streets are run by violent gangs.

Most of the Haitian refugees on our border left their country 10 years ago after their first earthquake, seeking an escape from the poverty, hunger and homelessness that the earthquake had caused. After seeking work in other countries they moved along, pushed by the economic failures in those countries, winding up at the U.S. border.

Sending them back to Haiti wouldn’t be such a bad idea if the other nations in the world had done something to help them rebuild and recover from the previous natural disasters. But Haitians are returning to a country that’s worse than when they left.

The U.S. needs to take leadership in an international effort to help Haiti recover its ability to care for its own people.

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