In the days following the earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince and killed over 200,000 people, the United States granted temporary protected status (TPS) to those undocumented immigrants from Haiti who were living in the United States prior to the date of the quake. It was the right thing to do after such an “act of God.” Yet, it stood in stark contrast to the failure of the United States to use its migration policy to help Haitians in 2008, when the island was struck by a series of natural disasters that were arguably man-made—a series of storms made increasingly more frequent and violent by rising sea levels and temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted March 19, 2010. For the full article visit the links above.
Immigrant Policy in Québec: Successes and Lessons Learned
Video of my discussion with Yolande James, Minister of Cultural Communities, Government of Quebec, at the World Policy Institute April 7, 2010.
Canada has long taken pride in its reputation for successfully welcoming immigrants. Nevertheless, like other immigrant destinations, it has faced challenges like combating racism, matching immigrants’ skills with appropriate jobs, and ensuring that immigrants have the language skills they need. Under a bilateral agreement with the Canadian federal government, Québec is able to make its own policies on the immigrants it selects, and to design and implement its own policies on integration and diversity -that is, “immigrant” policies, and not just “immigration” policies.
Québec’s Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Yolande James, the daughter of Canadian citizens who emigrated from St. Lucia and St. Vincent, spoke with WPI Executive Director Michele Wucker about Québec’s successes and the lessons that it has learned. Minister James also spoke about how Québec has used immigration policies to support Haiti following the January 12 earthquake.
Michele Wucker est la directrice exécutive du World Policy Institute (Institut des politiques mondiales) et l’auteure de Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola [Pourquoi le coq se bat: Dominicains, Haïtiens et le combat pour Hispaniola]
(translation of the article that appeared on ForeignPolicy.com Jannuary 19th)
The danger, says Michele Wucker, executive director of the World Policy Institute in New York, is that talks could get mired in an ideological debate over the role of the private sector and the state in Haiti’s future.
“You need both,” says Wucker. “You need an engaged private sector, a strong state, and you need accountability for both.
“In the best-case scenario, the rebuilding process is done in such a way that Haitian civil society is engaged, that there’s a way for communities to communicate what their priorities are.”
And whatever the eventual details of that reconstruction, attaining one legacy may well be crucial.
“The focus (should be) on collaboration and building the capacity of the Haitian government, so that, at the end of the process, we have some institutions that can withstand changes of government at the top.”
Five experts on nation-building, economic development, and emergency aid weigh in on how best to help devastated Port-au-Prince.
JANUARY 19, 2010
(Fellow experts include Paul Collier and Jean-Louis Warnholz; Clare Lockhart; and Dan Schnitzer)
By Michele Wucker
Amid the rubble, Haitians trying to find reasons for hope can look to the chance to rebuild. Although there are as yet no reliable estimates of what it will cost, it’s clear that Haiti will need a long-standing commitment of amounts far beyond what has been committed to past rebuilding programs — and any new development schemes should look to past attempts to avoid repeating their mistakes.
Video from my appearance on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO Canada, from Friday January 15th, discussing Haiti with Gage Averill, Elizabeth Abbott, Chantalle Verna, and Kara McDonald.