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#3152: Letter to the editor


    This is a letter that I sent this week to the NY Times, Wall Street 
Journal and to my local paper. Why not relieve overpopulation in Haiti and 
begin a program that would be less expensive than intervention and possibly 
more effective?
                                John Judson

To  the Editor:

    A front page article in the March 29 New York Times "Haitian Families in 
U.S. Face a Tough Choice" is thought provoking.  The issue goes far beyond 
the plight of a relatively small number of illegal residents from Haiti.   I 
have spent the last two years working in Haiti and have made yearly visits 
for 16 years.  The poverty, unemployment, political unrest, overcrowding, 
illiteracy and minimal medical resources are completely beyond the 
comprehension of anyone who has not been there.  As good neighbors, the U.S. 
has tried many approaches to help Haiti including a recent expensive military 

    The 7-8 million people who live in Haiti are desperately searching for 
ways to solve their problems but this may be impossible without some leaving 
their homeland.  We are a country of 250 million people with one of our great 
ports dominated by the Statue of Liberty which proclaims "Give me your tired, 
your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, ..."  Why do our 
neighbors in Haiti seem to be an exception to this invitation?

    There is an urgent need  to drastically relax immigration requirements 
for Haiti.  Even if 10-20% of Haiti's population were spread across our vast 
country, there would be minimal impact and our society would benefit from 
their contributions. Overcrowding in Haiti would be relieved and political 
leaders in that country would no longer have a captive population.  Haitians 
are proud, industrious, gracious citizens who value work and usually send 
earnings back to their families in Haiti thus benefiting both our own country 
and theirs.  Haiti can become  politically and economically stable with our 
help.  Other interventions have had minimal success.   Significantly 
increasing immigration quotas for qualified Haitians would be both innovative 
and effective.  

John P. Judson, MD    (drjudson@aol.com)

John Judson