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Haiti’s crisis isn’t ours and we need to keep it that way

OpinionHaiti’s crisis isn’t ours and we need to keep it that way

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The failed state of Haiti is once again spiraling into anarchy and possibly civil war. Some in Haiti and here in America have suggested a U.S. intervention to save lives and restore order. But military intervention in Haiti would be the height of folly. Aside from the potential need to evacuate American citizens, under no circumstances should American troops be deployed to Haiti. 

Armed gangs have seized control of Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, forced the nation’s prime minister from power and are driving half the country toward starvation. Gangs have shut down airports, closed the nation’s main port, burned down police stations and sprung thousands of hardened criminals from prison. Earlier this month, the Biden administration evacuated some personnel from our embassy in Haiti. That becomes the eleventh embassy to at least partially shut down since Joe Biden took office. 

The Biden administration has only made matters worse in Haiti. Last year, the administration announced support for an ill-conceived American-financed Kenyan intervention in the country, which has now stalled.  


The administration also returned to Haiti a 2004 coup leader, Guy Phillippe, whom we had imprisoned for drug trafficking. With 10 million illegals flooding into our country, of all the people Biden could’ve deported, he chose to return a coup leader to an unstable country.  

Violence in Haiti continues as gangs wreak havoc in Port-au-Prince, shown here in March 2024. (Project Dynamo)

As the situation deteriorates in Haiti, more voices may join the call for American intervention. No matter how bad things get in Haiti, we must act with restraint and reject these calls to intervene. 

For more than a century, America has repeatedly intervened in Haiti to defend it from foreign aggression, establish order and promote democracy. Our nation has also granted preferential trade terms and poured billions of dollars into the country to relieve hunger, treat the sick and uplift the poor.  

Noble intentions, perhaps, but utter failures, as we see today in Haiti’s streets. Our interventions haven’t provided long-term relief or stability, while a series of corrupt Haitian governments have squandered our assistance. 


What’s more, if we intervened now, our soldiers would be wading into chaotic civil strife in a country effectively without a government. Our troops could be trapped in brutal urban warfare without any vital national interest at stake. Advocates of intervention would then inevitably advocate for yet more nation-building in Haiti. This would be a financial and strategic debacle. 

Although tragic, Haiti’s crisis isn’t an American crisis, though we must take steps to ensure it doesn’t become an American crisis. We should strictly enforce our immigration laws to prevent another wave of illegal Haitian migration. 

Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, has begun building a border wall to control the flow of migration. We, too, must protect our nation by enforcing our laws at the southern border and along the Florida coast. We especially must prevent Haitian gang members from reaching our streets.  

Unfortunately, Biden has already allowed in about 140,000 illegal Haitians in just the past year. Worse still, Haitian gang members who weren’t already in our criminal records haven’t been screened out.  


Armed gang member

An armed member of the G9 and Family gang patrols a roadblock in the Delmas 6 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Monday, March 11. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

We also know from the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal that we can’t trust the Biden administration to properly vet parolees — just ask the hundreds of terrorists that Biden brought to the United States from Afghanistan. We need to urgently put an end to this dangerous influx of illegal Haitian migrants. 

America should only intervene militarily in other countries when our vital national interests are at stake, and only then when no other action can protect our interests. Rarely, if ever, will another nation’s civil war warrant our involvement. In particular, an intervention in Haiti would squander essential resources needed elsewhere in the world and at home, with little reason to expect long-term benefit for Haiti. America should stay out. 



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