One. Allow all Haitians
in the US
to work. The number one source of money for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers
in the US
back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a
chance. Haitians in the US
will continue to help when the world community moves on to other
Two. Do not allow US
military in Haiti
to point their guns at Haitians. Hungry Haitians are not the enemy.
Decisions have already been made which will militarize the humanitarian
relief – but do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Do
not demonize the people.
Three. Give Haiti
grants as help, not loans. Haiti
does not need any more debt. Make sure that the relief given helps
Haiti rebuild its
public sector so the country can provide its own citizens with basic
Four. Prioritize humanitarian
aid to help women, children and the elderly. They are always moved
to the back of the line. If they are moved to the back of the line,
start at the back.
Five. President Obama
can enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with the stroke
of a pen. Do it. The US
has already done it for El Salvador,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan
President Obama should do it on Martin Luther King Day.
Six. Respect Human Rights
from Day One. The UN has enacted Guiding Principles for Internally
Displaced People. Make them required reading for every official
and non-governmental person and organization. Non governmental organizations
like charities and international aid groups are extremely powerful
in Haiti – they too
must respect the human dignity and human rights of all people.
Seven. Apologize to the
Haitian people everywhere for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.
Eight. Release all Haitians
in US jails who are not accused of any crimes. Thirty thousand people
are facing deportations. No one will be deported to Haiti for years to
come. Release them on Martin Luther King day.
Nine. Require that all
the non-governmental organizations which raise money in the US be transparent about what they raise, where
the money goes, and insist that they be legally accountable to the
people of Haiti.
Ten. Treat all Haitians
as we ourselves would want to be treated.
Columnist Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and
law professor at Loyola University, New Orleans. He
has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977 and has served
as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on
issues including Katrina social justice issues, public housing,
voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational
reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. He has litigated
numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational
Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana,
for which he served as General Counsel for over 15 years.
also legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and
one of the team who represented ACORN in their successful federal
constitutional challenge. You can read the opinion at www.crrjustice.org.
here to contact