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CGD in the News

Refugees Live Uncertain Existence in a Maze of Immigration Laws (The Miami Herald)

July 11, 2010

The Miami Herald quotes CGD senior fellow Michael Clemens on immigration.

From the article:

"``I wonder outside of Miami if the immigration issues related to Haiti have dropped off the radar screen,'' said Michael A. Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. ``It was part of the conversation in January and February but it's going to be up to Florida leaders to keep reminding people that this is an issue that is not going away.''

BEFORE THE QUAKE

Long before the earthquake, Clemens suggested allowing more Haitian immigrants into the United States to work and send back remittances as a way to boost the country's economy. A total of 21,000 Haitians are allowed in annually. He also supports broadening the definition of a refugee to accommodate earthquake survivors.

``I do not see a moral distinction between a person fleeing their country because of war, a man-made disaster, and a person fleeing their country because of an earthquake, a natural disaster,'' said Clemens, who studies the effects of international migration on developing nations. ``Haiti is a case where a small change in policy could have a huge impact in real people's lives.''"

Read the article