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The Political and Economic Causes of Haitian Migration Post WWII


This paper will discuss Haiti’s political and economic crisis and how it has caused several waves of migration. Haiti changed the trajectory of global history in 1804 when it became the first black nation to gain independence and the first slave revolution to succeed. Not only did it destroy Napoleon’s army, but it also helped numerous countries gain liberation from slavery. Throughout the U.S. Liberation War, Haitians battled at Savanah, Georgia. The brigade that battled there included Henri Christophe, the King of Haiti’s Northern Region. Alexandre Petion, President of Haiti, donated ships, men, funds, and weaponry to help Simon Bolivar’s efforts to gain freedom for South American countries during a vital point in history.

Whereas the first 100 years of Haitian history were hampered by political seclusion and economic sanctions that harmed the country’s efforts to build and sustain an independent republic, the next 100 years were the polar opposite. Instead of being disregarded and ostracized, Haiti became the target of western conquest, colonization, and domination, primarily by the U.S. Haiti’s political success in 1862 was, at best, a sham. While looking helpful at the time, obtaining diplomatic recognition from the United States opened Haiti to the threat of foreign involvement, which finally ended in foreign invasion and influence.

Furthermore, like in many colonists, the racial tensions imposed by Europeans had a long-term influence. In Haiti, the three-tiered racial hierarchy that had been established under French control turned into an aggressive division. In his historical accounts, Rumbaut (1994 p.596) shows that between 1868 and 1915, high racial tensions in Haiti resulted in tremendous violence as each faction attempted to take control of the government. The political and economic destruction caused by the Haitian Revolution, periods of political and economic blockades, and the country’s debt to France increased racial tensions. Vulnerable and striving to recuperate from years of neglect, Haiti was quickly seen as a possible target for political and economic colonialism by a number of countries, notably Germany and France.

Politically, Haiti has also struggled partially because of economic reasons but also because of corrupt governing. The lack of economic standing made it easier for other countries to come in and rule or to place power into the wrong hands. Though Haiti began as a strong state, aiding in the liberation of countless nations and abolishment of slavery, the political instability from within the country weakened the nation. According to Smith (2004 p. 28), after failing to even recognize Haiti as an independent country until 1862, the United States occupied the country from 1915 to 1934. The effects of the occupation in Haiti were staggering. “Occupation authorities arrested dissidents, censored the press, enforced racial segregation, installed a puppet president, seized the state treasury, and crafted a new constitution that eliminated an historic ban on foreign landownership in Haiti. These developments convinced Haitians that the Americans had come to re-enslave a people whose ancestors had dared to emancipate themselves.” ( The troubling condition of the nation caused the first significant wave of emigration.

Between 1862 and 1915, Haiti was wracked by domestic strife. The island country has been destroyed by dozens of military coups, horrible brutality, and political instability. Some onlookers may see this as proof that Haitians were unable to rule themselves successfully. However, the truth is more complicated. The tale of Haiti’s internal turmoil is not unusual in many aspects. Dupuy (2019 p.78) reveals that throughout history, political unrest, bloodshed, repression, and military coups have frequently accompanied revolutions. The Revolutions in the United States, France, and Russia are just only some of the most well-known instances. Even Nevertheless, Haiti’s challenges are unique compared to other revolutionary imprints because of their scope and regularity. So, what sets Haiti apart? It is not a condition among Haitians or an indication of a misfortune, as some critics argue. Instead, it is a result of Haiti’s past’s social, political, and economic legacy as a former slave colony that overcame all obstacles to achieve independence.


The island that is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic was first occupied with the creation of farming settlements. Later on, the Arawak and other indigenous groups established major settlements there. Cassava farming, fishing, and inter-island commerce, which included gold jewelry, ceramics, and other products, were the mainstays of their economy. Over the next few decades, the Spanish enslaved enormous numbers of Taino and Ciboney people to mine for gold. The local inhabitants were killed by European diseases and difficult working conditions that greatly shrunk the population. Several more captives from other Island nations suffered in the same way.

The Spanish imported cattle, pigs, and horses, which expanded into large herds and changed the landscape. Spanish colonization was primarily limited to the island’s eastern end, and many Spaniards fled once the island’s primary gold mines were depleted. French invaders built a foothold on Tortue Island and nearby islands. Both French and British cardinals maintained camps there after that. Farms and permanent settlements started to emerge. After the French built Port-de-Paix, the French West Indies Corporation acquired control of the territory in the 1660s. Landlords in western Hispaniola bought an increasing number of Black captives in the late 17th century, reaching over five thousand.

During WWII, Haiti aided nations such as Greece and Jamaica and also took a stand against Nazi Germany by giving life-saving permits to Jewish refugees. Some of the victims stayed in Haiti, and their relatives still live there. Other than a small, wealthy landowning minority, these political changes were accompanied by the absolute poverty of the great majority of people in both nations. Even though the Dominican Republic has made progress, the World Bank still considers Haiti to be the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and widespread malnutrition remains a significant issue. Furthermore, Haiti had the highest birthrate. The influential actions of Haiti as a nation include;

Multiple U.S. military occupations in Haiti

Foreign involvement took a toll on Haiti, particularly from France, Germany, and the United States, as each nation invested extensively in the country’s politics and trade. Following the assassination of then-Haitian president Vilbrun Guillaume Sam by a mob in 1915, the United States anticipated foreign involvement and the formation of a new administration dominated by anti-American Haitian politicians. For over two decades, the United States controlled and administered Haiti by force, sometimes employing brutal violence to crush Haitians who resisted foreign presence. Sprague-Silgado (2018 p.752) shows that the U.S. troops murdered almost 2,000 Haitian demonstrators in just one fight. In Haiti, the United States regulated imports, collected taxes, and ran most government agencies, all of which benefitted the United States significantly. The U.S. troops departed from Haiti in 1934, but the nation remained under U.S. monetary authority.

Environmental Catastrophes One After Another

Haitians have been subjected to maltreatment by their own government, foreign military forces, and native militias and gangs for many years. During the political unrest, a succession of natural catastrophes struck Haiti, including repeated hurricanes, tropical storms, an earthquake, and a considerable cholera outbreak that began when a U.N. peacekeeping post polluted the country’s main river with cholera-infected garbage. The natural calamities made it challenging for Haiti to rebound, causing many election cycles to be postponed over several years. This comprised the elections in which Jovenel Mose emerged victoriously and was elected president in 2017.

Haiti’s Exploitative Debt to France and the U.S

France would not recognize Haiti as a sovereign country until 1825, and even then, it came with a price. France intended to end its ties with Haiti entirely, so it demanded an indemnity, or fiscal payment, in exchange for the dissolution of its former colony. The claimed worth of Haiti’s lands and physical property, including the 500,000 once enslaved population, was 150 million gold francs, which is equivalent to billions of dollars in today’s currency (Sprague-Silgado, 2018 p.748). Faced with a fleet of French warships and King Charles X’s refusal to negotiate, Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer succumbed to pressure, shackling the country in large debt. Despite the fact that Haiti paid for its independence and diplomatic recognition, the indemnity remained an overwhelming weight from which the Haitians have never fully recovered.” Subsequently, the debt was lowered to 60 million francs, but it was still too much for Haiti to pay. The government took out extortionate loans from French banks to make payments, resulting in a terrible debt cycle.

By 1898, the government of Haiti had spent more than half of its budget on paying France and the French banks. By 1914, that percentage had risen to 80%.” In order to pay off Haiti’s remaining foreign debt, the United States eventually issued a debt consolidation loan to the country. The United States maintained budgetary supervision over Haiti until 1947 when the country was able to repay the balance of its debt. However, this drained the nation’s gold reserves, making it vulnerable to future economic exploitation.

I. Life in Haiti During/Right after WWII

In the last two and a half years, Haiti’s political situation has improved. While the administration remains authoritarian, it has drastically reduced, if not eliminated, the use of coercion that characterized the previous regime in achieving its political goals. Although authoritarian, the governmental system does not have a totalitarian influence on society. According to American politicians, the latter category, irrespective of its underlying social control mechanisms, should get US foreign aid at the expense of the former. Despite differing viewpoints, the State Department endorsed the Duvalier government in this framework of American worldwide foreign policy. Later reports stated that the government of Haiti appeared to be sincerely devoted to boosting economic standards of his citizens as a primary goal of his government’s economic paradigm (Taft-Morales, 2019 p.12). Because Haiti’s development requirements are so basic, outside help may have a substantial influence. The implication these positive reports were sending to the Haitian dictatorship was that its domestic policies were unimportant as long as it aligned its foreign policy with that of the US in the region. The Haitian government preferred to speak in terms of human rights rather than economic progress, and conservative American leaders applauded this seeming self-assurance as part of the government’s economic revolutionary goal.

The Garde and President SténioVincent

With the end of US rule, Haiti was confronted with a slew of new issues. Regardless of the lack of substantial political or financial reforms, the 1930s were a period of comparative political stability relative to the turmoil of the years prior 1915. The construction of vocational schools, the establishment of a semi-professional Haitian army, the Garde d’Haiti, and the confirmation of Port-au-Prince as the administrative power center were all critical. President Vincent declared a new age of change, analogous to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and aimed to strengthen connections with the United States and Haiti’s wealthy eastern neighbor, the Dominican Republic. The economically and socially systems, on the other hand, did not change much. The ruling classes continued to rule the financial sector, and via this dominance, they were able to exert indirect control on the administration (Ives, 2021 p.15). After 1934, the US became Haiti’s most important commercial partner, absorbing more than half of the country’s yearly coffee crop while carefully maintaining its financial power. These changes promoted the needs of urban elites while providing little benefit to the urban population. Vincent quickly adopted a more autocratic leadership style once the marines withdrew, notably following his re-election in 1936.

Cold War and Haiti

Without all certainty, the Haitian government had a comprehensive knowledge of US geopolitical interests, and this knowledge was the foundation of political negotiations between the US and Haiti during the time period under consideration (1971-1986). In a move reminiscent of his father’s, Jean-Claude Duvalier used American fears of communism in the territory by stating the presence of possible dangers to Cuba, and then using this impression, true or imagined, to demand US military help in the event of a Cuban attack:

Since the Cuban endeavor established the cold war’s footing on the continent, Haiti has stayed on the front lines, defying intrigues and threats. Given the completion of Cuban forces in Angola, several high-ranking officials have questioned whether Haiti and other Caribbean nations would have the desire and resources to fight any Cuban incursion in the region. It is clear that the Haitian people and administration have the will to confront such a scenario, but they lack the resources to do so. The Haitian government expects to be able to defend its country at least during the initial hours of any assault until the Rio Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance system can be activated.

U.S. Involvement in Haitian Government

The shared idea of a socialist danger in the territory paid off, as it attracted Duvalier military, financial, and technological help from the United States, without which he would have not lasted fourteen years of rule. The US deployed a combat operation to Haiti to equip the military at the invitation of the Haitian administration. Before practically all help was taken off in 1963, the dictatorship received more than $43 million in the United States (Alexis, 2021 p.38). Alexis (2021) shows that this cold war collaboration obtained an anti-communist ally in the U. S., which got to vote on the Western frontier to excommunicate Cuba from the U. S. state Department (OAS) in 1962, start imposing financial sanctions on Cuba in 1964, and encourage the concept of an Inter-American Peace-keeping Force to institutionalize US involvement in the Dominican Republic in 1965.

The shared idea of a socialist danger in the territory paid off, as it attracted Duvalier tactical, financial, and technological help from the United States, without which he would never have lasted fourteen years of rule. The US deployed a combat operation to Haiti to equip the army at the invitation of the Haitian administration. Before practically all help was taken off in 1963, the dictatorship received more than $43 million in the United States (Alexis, 2021 p.40). This cold war collaboration brought the United States an anti-communist alliance who voted on the American side to forcibly remove Cuba from the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, enforce trade sanctions on Cuba in 1964, and promote the establishment of an Inter-American Peace-keeping Force to institutionalize US involvement in the Dominican Republic in 1965.

II. The Political Regime during the Time Of Papa Doc & Baby Doc

François “Papa Doc” Duvalier had the great fortune to become President of Haiti (1957-1971) at an era when the United States’ diplomacy in the Caribbean was irrevocably changed by the start of the cold war, the introduction of communism in Cuba, and worries of communist spreading throughout the region. Haiti, which is only a few miles from Cuba, re-emerged as a geopolitical player; US planners were fascinated with the possibility that Duvalier might join the communist bloc as well (Glover, 2019 p.13).. During Duvalier’s initial years in power, there was some collaboration between the two nations. The United States’ interest with the operations of Haitian exiles located in Cuba disseminating anti-Duvalier slogans led to these efforts at coordination.

These fears were heightened by Castro’s remark that it was the job of every communist to create revolutions and that he would turn the Andes into the American region’s Sierra Maestra . When Haitian dissidents tried their first voyage from Cuba to oust the Haitian administration with the support of certain Cubans, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier grabbed the opportunity to blame Castro of intervening in the domestic matters of other Latin American nations.

Papa Doc & Tontons Macoutes rise to power

This tenuous anti-communist coalition, on the other hand, was quickly supplanted by a series of confrontations that lasted nearly the whole period of the 1960s. Duvalier’s autocratic administration was marred by political clashes with its neighboring rival, the Dominican Republic, and the United States, over the actions of Haitian exiles (Twa, 2013 p.146). Duvalier retaliated by designating consecutive American diplomats persona anti grata and threatening to make concessions to the communist bloc as a message to the US that Haiti may be pulled into the communist camp. The worsening of ties between the two nations attained a pinnacle when Duvalier’s Tonton Macoutes violently entered the Dominican consulate to apprehend Haitians demanding sanctuary. The Kennedy administration authorized the withdrawal of American citizens from Haiti, shut off economic help, and exert pressure on Duvalier to resign as a result of the infringement of the Dominican embassy’s diplomatic status. While this Government used international aid, diplomacy, and pressure to force Duvalier out, it was concerned that alienating him too much might establish a second Cuba in the area.

Living in Haiti under Papa Doc

Papa Doc’s armed men routed the intruders and murdered a couple of them, including a Miami deputy sheriff. The dictatorship claimed that exiled Haitians collaborated with communists to attack the nation. American politicians, concerned with the concept of a communist danger in the area, accepted Duvalier’s allegation and backed his administration, which they considered as more stable than any exile alliance, which they felt would throw the nation into disarray because of its Cuban ties. The logic was simple to follow. Duvalier thanked the United States for its assistance, which he exploited to boost his government’s image by declaring that Haitian-American ties were entering a new chapter of collaboration in a pristine environment of peace and order.

He subsequently took a strong anti-communist stance, even offering the US administration potential locations for the construction of a naval facility in Haiti in the event that the Guantanamo base was decommissioned. Nevertheless, the Duvalier government’s real intention was not to join US efforts to halt the spread of communism in the territory, as it supposed; rather, its anti-communist stance was a ruse to gain more US assistance, which which used to assert influence over internal politics, including the elimination of political rivals and the repression of organized labor.,

Transition of Power to Baby Doc

After anointing his 19-year-old son Jean-Claude (‘Baby Doc’) as his heir, Papa Doc Duvalier died in service. Duvalier faced a shrinking economy, the removal of most US help, and a drop in tourism as he neared the end of life; in reaction, he eased some of the harsh coercion and terrorism that had defined his early administration (Ives, 2021, p.16). Prior to his death in 1971, he nominated his son, Jean-Claude, who was 19 at the time and was dubbed “Baby Doc” by the international press, to replace him as a supreme leader. Jean-Claude Duvalier’s dictatorship desired worldwide prestige. Tourism, US aid, and the gdp all improved slightly as repression faded. Opponents, on the other hand, perceived little change in the regime’s core characteristics. However, he has distinguished himself in service to his nation and the fight of civil rights. He was a member of a number of negotiation teams throughout Europe and Africa throughout that time. He campaigned for the integration of civil rights considerations in World Bank loan standards while at the bank.

Political Unrest and Violation of Human Rights Laws

The Cold Battle converted the Caribbean Region into an unofficial war situation from the 1960s through the mid-1980s. The American States and the Soviet Union constituted, of obviously, the two principal opposing powers. Throughout that time, U.s. foreign policy was characterized by where Moscow stood, and because the Soviets were supporting the Cuban Revolution, it didn’t take long for lawmakers in America to make a decision that the US should support the other regional powers, regardless of socio – economic control mechanisms. In order to fight Soviet expansion in the area, the US galvanized the supportive (i.e. non-communist) Caribbean countries, providing them with financial and military backing notwithstanding their lengthy histories of human rights violations. The underlying message to dictatorial states in the region was that defending human rights as a concern was not in the US public interest, and so embracing US foreign policy in the Caribbean was not in the US public interest.

III. Economy of Haiti

Global economic experts have encouraged Haiti to restructure and modernize its economy since the collapse of the Duvalier regime i. Free trade metrics to control the government expenses and boost government revenue, public service scaling back, banking system restructure, and the industrialization of two out of nine state-owned businesses through their sale to international investment, the allocation of private industry contractual agreements, or joint public-private investment were all on President Preval’s economic agenda from 1995 to 2000. Arrangements with the Foreign Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other global financial organizations to establish the atmosphere for investment and growth have only been partially effective. Haiti is still suffering the repercussions of the 1991 coup and the de facto rulers’ imprudent business and market policies, which hastened Haiti’s economic downfall.

Haiti’s Independence Debt to France

In 1804 Haiti formally gained its independence from France. The nation was divided in October 1806, with Alexandre Pétion governing in the south and Henry Christophe in the north. Despite the fact that both of Haiti’s monarchs had participated in the Haitian Revolution, the French had not given up hope of reclaiming their previous colony. During Haiti’s vital growth stage, France acted even more aggressively than the US to sabotage the country’s prosperity (Charles, 2021 p.38). In July 1825, King Charles X of France dispatched an armed flotilla of warships to Haiti, threatening the nascent republic with dire repercussions unless it paid France 150 million francs to guarantee its freedom. That figure was ten times the price paid by the United States to France for the Louisiana Acquisition, which doubled the country’s size. Haiti acceded to France’s conditions almost at coercion in order to attain its independence. The cost was too much for the new nation to pay in full, so it had to ask for money from a French bank with high interest rates. Haiti compensated French slave owners and their successors between $20 and $30 billion in today’s currency over the following century. Haiti’s potential to thrive was greatly harmed by the fact that it took 122 years to settle the debts.

Agriculture and Business of Haiti

Approximately 2.5 million Haitians, mostly in rural regions, live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day). The economy is mostly informal, and tiny family farms are strongly reliant on it. Agricultural output, on the other hand, has slowed as a result of rising rural areas constraints, frequent natural catastrophes, extreme climate occurrences (such as droughts), and farmers’ limited availability of information, modern equipment, and methods (Vansteenkiste, 2017 p.188). The business situation in Haiti is equally difficult, with the nation rating 181 out of 190 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. Despite these difficulties, Haiti has recently enjoyed modest economic progress. Agricultural potential for both home and foreign markets are very bright and a key growth catalyst.

In the agricultural production, USAID’s approach focuses on raising farmers’ earnings over time by introducing better supplies and technologies, stabilizing the slopes above fertile plains, and strengthening farm prices through greater access to local and international markets. USAID also helps farmers earn more sales by assisting them in the processing of subsistence crops such as maize, rice, bean, and cassava, and also commercial crops like cacao and mango.

Major Obstacles; Sector of informal commerce: Informal micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) account for up to 80% of new job creation, but they frequently struggle to obtain finance from official sources and require business development skills training. High unemployment: Joblessness impacts a huge section of the Haitian people; estimates suggest that 40% of Haitians are jobless, with 50% of females underemployed. Reliance on subsistence agriculture: Farmers’ ability to scale up output is limited by a lack of finance, environmental deterioration, public sector capability in agricultural extension, and insufficient economic integration.

Outside Countries That Set Haiti Up For Failure While Benefiting Themselves

Haiti is among the world’s poorest nations, yet wealthy nations have left their imprint on the country’s stalled progress. During the early nineteenth century, the United States distanced a declared independent Haiti throughout the early twentieth century, the island country was ruthlessly invaded for 19 years. While the United States formally departed Haiti in 1934, it maintained control over the country’s finances until 1947, extorting off the country’s national revenue to satisfy outstanding debts to the United States and France.

Most of this debt to France stemmed from what is referred to as “history’s biggest heist”: a post – independent Haiti was obliged to pay compensation to its slaveowners while encircled by French gunboats. The freed slaves of Haiti were required to pay reparations, not the French slaveowners. For the benefit of becoming free, Haitians rewarded their rulers and their successors. The restitution obligations took Haiti more than a century to pay off.

IV. Reasons To Emigrate

Fear of Political Regime

Armed organizations loyal to the government and those loyal to the opposition have generated dread in the neighborhoods over which they hold authority. Elections in popular neighborhoods are never truly free. In this scenario, where criminals control about a third of the country’s sovereignty, their political clout in the upcoming election is undeniable. Haiti has battled to escape its hundreds of years heritage of authoritarianism, disregard for human rights, lack of development, and widespread poverty since the collapse of the Duvalier government in 1986. Widespread corruption continues to be a barrier to reversing that legacy. Prior to the 2010 earthquake, Haiti made tremendous progress in strengthening governance, but recovery has been gradual. Democratic processes are still shaky, and stability is under jeopardy. Poverty remains widespread and profound, with widening economic disparities. Haiti has been a persistent policy challenge for the United States due to its closeness to the United States, and its persistently politically unstable situation and frail economy. Many members of the US Congress are concerned about Haiti’s growing instability and have demonstrated their commitment to improve circumstances in the nation by continuing to support US foreign aid.

 Effects of Politics and Economics Crisis on Daily Life

During President Jovenel Mose’s government, Haiti has become increasingly unstable, with instability, rising inflation, and renewed gang violence. Due to the government’s inability to organize 2019 elections, most of the Haitian legislature’s tenure expired, with no people chosen to replace them. Mose currently governs by decree. Mose’s probable involvement in numerous corrupt acts is being investigated by the authorities, which the presidency disputes. Current and former Haitian officials are accused of theft and fraud in the management of $2 billion in loans from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe subsidized oil program, according to inquiries by the Haitian Senate and Superior Court of Auditors. Mose’s plan to eliminate oil subsidies in mid-2018, which would result in sharp price increases, triggered widespread demonstrations. Since May 2019, when a report claimed Mose had misappropriated millions of dollars, political instability has increased. Protests asking for the abolition of corruption, the provision of federal programs, and Mose’s impeachment have persisted. Almost 60% of the country’s 10 million residents are poor, with over a quarter of them living in severe poverty (Taft-Morales, 2019 p.14). Haiti is currently recuperating from the horrific earthquake that struck the country in 2010, as well as Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The latter accelerated a two-year drought that had destroyed much of Haiti’s food supplies.

Human Rights Violations

Haiti is a drastically different country today than it was in 2004, when UN peacekeeping forces were stationed there. Nonetheless, substantial structural obstacles exist, despite the fact that the degree of human rights breaches reported at the time did not compare to the current situation. In Haiti, social discontent, injustice, and inadequate institutions are key roadblocks to the achievement of human rights. With several estimates of the total population in poverty, the nation remains the poorest in the Americas, and it faces significant economic and social challenges, including inadequate work prospects, particularly for young. Many people lack access to basic amenities such as health care, water, electricity, and education. This is worsened by Haiti’s vulnerability to natural catastrophes, with each earthquake and storm obstructing growth and exacerbating many people’s already terrible living situations (Taft-Morales, 2019 p.11). Poverty fosters criminal activity, particularly in the capital’s poorest neighborhoods, where highly armed gangs enjoy the benefits of the government’s scant presence. Rival gangs’ rivalry has resulted in fatalities, sexual assault against women and girls, and home damage and looting. As tensions rise, the citizenry’s safety must be prioritized, and also by law enforcement agencies. Since last July, these long-standing concerns have contributed to an increase in violent unrest in Haiti. At least 60 people have been killed, including officers of the Haitian National Police, since July 2018, and several have been wounded. The country was virtually completely immobilized by the state’s longest and most violent protest in years. The turmoil had an impact on hospitals and jail facilities, making food, water, and medicine more difficult to get. While certain members of the Haitian National Police were found to be the perpetrators of human rights abuses during and after the protests, the Police generally shown a higher adherence to human rights principles than in prior protests.

Environmental Factors

Within a year and a half, Haiti was hit by two catastrophic natural catastrophes. A succession of hurricanes hit Haiti in August and September 2008, killing almost 800 people and relocating hundreds of thousands. Flooding wiped all harvests, forcing the state to rely on international aid. Reconstruction has been impeded by an inadequate government initiative and ongoing aggression from Haitians. (Charles, 2021 p.32) shows that catastrophic earthquake occurred southwest of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010, causing huge damage and significant loss of life in the city and surrounding region. For a period, the government’s day-to-day operations were essentially suspended. The earthquake was predicted to have affected three million people, or almost one-third of the country’s entire population. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on Haiti’s continued attempts to rebound from the 2010 earthquake and following losses in late October 2012. Hundreds of people were killed in severe flooding and landslides, and the storm caused widespread property damage, such as the collapse of highways and two-thirds of the southern region’s crops.

V. Waves of Emigration

Types of Migration

In the 1950s and 1960s, large mass migrations occurred, particularly to the United States and the United Kingdom (UK). During the 1970s and 1980s, migration to places beyond the Caribbean persisted, but it slowed as recipient countries tightened immigration quotas and regulations, and it grew increasingly informal and unauthorized. Political persecution and economic misery in Haiti, as well as considerable unrest in Cuba, resulted in well-publicized ‘boat people’ migrations to the United States. Documented migration is still happening, with the United States setting annual limits for ambitious migrants from certain countries. Intra-Caribbean migratory labor has also been around for a long time. Thousands of laborers left British colonies like Jamaica and Barbados to work on the Panama Canal in the later half of the nineteenth and early half of the twentieth century. Intra-Caribbean emigration has been minor in contrast to movement to the United States and Europe during the previous 40 years, approximated at 500,000 persons, or 10% of total migration (Dupuy, 2019 p.76). Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Jamaica are the largest transmitters of immigrants to other Caribbean locations, while the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands (British and US), and the TCI are the main recipients.

Different Waves of Emigration Post WWII

During the revolt in Haiti, French slaveowners moved to the United States, carrying with them the individuals they had enslaved. The second wave corresponded with the United States’ invasion and annexation of Haiti in 1915, transforming the country into a heavily reliant and “perceptible state,” or a country with contemporary governmental institutions, organizations, and political practices but little or no real influence to set its government’s policy and satisfy the requirements of the people. Invasion from the United States said they were there to reconstruct Haiti, establish the rule of law, and safeguard lives. In actuality, the US engagement was driven by a desire to curb Germany’s rising influence in Haitian politics and trade. Germany was one of the main players in World War I.

Reactions of Receiving Countries

Many Haitian migrants, however, have found themselves undesired as they have traveled overseas. They have suffered persecution in the Dominican Republic on several occasions, as well as anti-immigrant sentiments from the Bahamas to Chile. Far from promising a free island paradise, Haiti, the poorest state in the Western hemisphere, frequently sees its citizens demeaned in other countries.

Fears of the Dominican populace becoming “Haitianized,” as promoted by the Dominican media and government, drove many Dominicans to resent Haitian immigration. As a result, several Dominican governments have rejected these immigrants Dominican citizenship and failed to acknowledge their Dominican-born children as Dominican nationals, in violation of the charter of rights, which guarantees birthright citizenship. With the passage of the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act, which removed the exclusionary nationwide quotas that had been a basis of US immigration law since the 1920s, Haitian migration to the United States started in earnest.

 Life of Immigrants in Their New Countries

Migrants from Haiti labored on sugarcane farms in Cuba in hard circumstances and for pitiful pay, though it was often better than what they could expect in Haiti. Regardless of how long they had been in the nation, racist views hindered these migrants from fully exercising their legal rights. Additionally, in order to drive a wedge among them and the Afro-Cuban communities, Cuban political and social outlets used misconceptions about Haiti’s supposed underdevelopment in order to caution Cubans against becoming too familiar with the newcomers. When the Cuban economy suffered a setback, the first to be accused were the Black West Indian cane cutters, particularly Haitian migrants. Since the two nations share borders, Haitian immigration to the Dominican Republic has its own dynamics. These employees have been treated with disrespect, just as they were in Cuba. Several Haitians have been able to obtain visas not just as highly trained health practitioners, legal professionals, and technicians, but also as dressmakers, shoe and cabinet creators, and tailors, due to the scarcity of skilful and semi-skilled american workers during that time due to the impact of the Vietnam War and the strength of the American economy.

VI. What Can Be Changed In Haiti That Will Diminish The Numbers Of People Emigrating?

Contributing Factors of Emigration and How to Reverse Them

Poverty is the motivating cause for Haitian migration over the border. This is as true now as it was in the 1920s when the first large-scale migratory migrations occurred. Many Haitians live on less than that, with the World Bank estimating that 80% of the population lives in abject poverty. Since the turn of the twentieth century, Haitians have been moving to earn a decent living and get away from oppression. Today, the Haitian diaspora includes multitudes of Haitian migrants in the United States, in France and in Canada. In addition, there are major Haitian communities across the Caribbean.

Intra-Caribbean immigration, both legal and illegal, will continue as long as major economic and social gaps persist across regions. Governments should aggressively endeavor to address stereotypes held towards migrant populations, such as the Dominican Republic’s anti-Haitianism phenomena, by incorporating a civil rights program in state schools. The 200th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, which occurred in 2004, might be used to promote Haitian culture and history.

Suggestions of Authors of Scholarly Articles

Central to the objectives of this paper, some information acquired was scarce. Most scholarly articles have focused on the history of political unrest in Haiti. Scarce information has been provided on the challenges of the Haiti immigrants in the course of their movements. Additionally, scarce information is provided on the type of migrations and phases of immigration. Therefore, scholarly articles should broaden the knowledge provided for a comprehensive documentation of the Haitian migrations. Also, they should provide more information about the succession of government rulers and the consequences of each on the Haitian population during their time.


The Haitian revolution was a period of wars involving changing coalitions of Haitian slaves, affranchis, mixed races, and settlers, and British and French army personnel. The affranchis’ discontent with a violent system, the French Revolution, patriotic rhetoric, the continued cruelty of slave traders, and conflicts between European countries all contributed to the catastrophe. Haiti’s economic and political issues persist in the twenty-first century. Following the 2000 elections, humanitarian relief sanctions fueled a downward economic cycle that further disadvantaged an already destitute populace. Disease outbreaks increased dramatically, as did levels of anarchy and violence. Allegations of corruption have dogged the government, and open defiance has erupted. Aid from outside decreased, and remittances from Haitians living abroad became the country’s principal source of revenue. Haitians have learnt that significant triumphs do not come without suffering, struggle, and loss of human life after 200 years of political independence with very little economic growth and virtually continual systematic violations of Haiti’s most fundamental human rights. It’s possible that the worst is yet to come. Nonetheless, the peaceful struggle for change in Haiti will continue. Haitians, after all, are entitled to a positive future for their nation. They have the urge for their people to have absolute independence and to be proud of their countrymen overseas. Haitian democracy has a good chance of succeeding. Within the area, Haitians should be able to coexist peacefully with one another, as well as retain goodwill with the United States.


Alexis, Y. (2021). 2. US Invasion (Envazyon Etazini). In Haiti Fights Back (pp. 35-53). Rutgers University Press.

Charles, J. M. (2021). The Cost of Regime Survival: Political Instability, Underdevelopment, and (Un) natural Disasters in Haiti Before the 2010 Earthquake. Journal of Black Studies, 00219347211012619.

Dupuy, Alex. (2019) Haiti in the new world order: The limits of the democratic revolution. Routledge.

Glover, J. (2019). From Duvalierism to Dechoukaj in The Dew Breaker. In Approaches to Teaching the Works of Edwidge Danticat (pp. 11-29). Routledge.

Ives, K. (2021). President clings to power as Haiti’on the verge of explosion’. Green Left Weekly, (1296), 17.

Rumbaut, Rubén G. (1994). “Origins and destinies: Immigration to the United States since World War II.” Sociological Forum. Vol. 9. No. 4. Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers.

Smith, Matthew J. (2004) “VIVE 1804!: The Haitian Revolution and the Revolutionary Generation of 1946.” Caribbean Quarterly 50.4: 25-41.

Sprague-Silgado, J. (2018). Global capitalism, Haiti, and the flexibilisation of paramilitarism. Third World Quarterly39(4), 747-768.

Taft-Morales, M. (2019). Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions.

Twa, L. (2013). The Black Magic Island: The Artistic Journeys of Alexander King and Aaron Douglas from and to Haiti. Haiti and the Americas, 133.

Vansteenkiste, J. (2017). ‘Haiti: Open for business’: New perspectives on inclusive and sustainable development. In Resistance to the Neoliberal Agri-Food Regime (pp. 180-194). Routledge.


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