Nativists Stewing Over Refuge for Haitians

Some nativists are riled up about the Obama administration’s recent decision to give temporary refuge to undocumented Haitian immigrants.

Their anger comes after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Jan. 15 that Haitians who were in the United States on the day of the earthquake may apply to stay here legally for 18 months. The government sometimes grants “temporary protected status” (TPS) to undocumented immigrants whose home country has suffered a trauma of such magnitude that they cannot immediately return. Even Mark Krikorian, executive director of the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, was quoted in The Washington Post as saying that he felt TPS was “totally justified in this case,” though he took issue with the renewals of TPS that often occur.

But others weren’t nearly so charitable. The white nationalist hate site Vdare.com featured a Jan. 21 column by Edwin Rubenstein titled “Haitian Immigrants Pretty Useless  — But Haiti Still Needs Them More Than We Do.” Rubenstein, an economic consultant and regular Vdare.com contributor, suggested that the administration’s decision was part of a “longstanding but little known Obama goal” to increase Haitian immigration. After unfavorably comparing Haitian immigrants to European immigrants and non-Hispanic American whites, he insisted that he only had Haiti’s best interests at heart. “What’s so generous about stealing the very few educated leaders that this pitiful country has been able to produce?” he concluded.

Glenn Spencer, who leads the anti-immigrant hate group American Border Patrol, usually complains about immigrants from Mexico. But he took on Haitians in a Jan. 19 online feature titled “The Haitian Exodus: Obama Will Flood Our Bankrupt Cities,” suggesting a la Rubenstein that the decision is part of a larger plan to boost Haitian immigration. “All indications are that the Obama administration is going to game the system to allow hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million Haitians into the United States,” he wrote. “The first step was granting temporary protected status (TPS) to up to 200,000 Haitian illegal aliens.” Spencer did note the importance of donating money for Haiti, so long as it went toward helping them in Haiti, not in the United States.

The European American Unity and Rights Organization, founded by former Klan boss David Duke, dropped any pretense of compassion in a blatantly racist Jan. 23 web posting that predicted the Haitians would be allowed to stay permanently: “If America fills up with Third World people and we turn into yet another Third World nation too poor to do anything, who is going [to] rescue the non-Whites then? Flooding America with non-Whites will destroy our economy, and Third World nations hit with future disasters will be lucky to get a third of the help that they are getting right now thanks to the United States with its White majority.”

Stormfront.org, the leading white supremacist Web forum, had several vicious postings from white supremacists upset with the decision to offer TPS to Haitians. “[T]hey fully intend to give these animals a path towards citizenship even as they import more of these savages,” wrote “MyselfMia” on Jan. 16.

White supremacists were spewing venom about the Haiti tragedy even before then, however. Two days after the Jan. 12 earthquake that left more than 150,000 dead, Hatewatch detailed reaction from the far right, including neo-Nazi Billy Roper’s assertion that Haitians should be castrated.