ERIC Number: ED263278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Structural Determinants of the Haitian Refugee Movement: Different Interpretations. Occasional Papers Series, Dialogues #4.
By borrowing and adapting theoretical frameworks from the structural approach to migration and the dialectical view of legal repression, this paper attempts to explain why Haitian boat people in south Florida have been so singularly persecuted and, secondly, why the government's efforts to expel the Haitians have failed. First, the study's structural approach is developed: within this framework, the Haitian population's movements are seen as fundamentally determined by economic cycles and their fate is tied to their mode of incorporation into the receiving economy. Because the boat people possess neither the human nor financial capital to create an enclave or become integrated into the primary sector, their only alternative is south Florida's relatively underdeveloped secondary labor market. The paper also analyzes the particular "push" factors in Haiti which have encouraged massive emigration, and the "pull" factors in south Florida. The latter are seen as minimal, and the relative absence of opportunities in the receiving area is said to have produced tension at the local and national levels. Locally, it is argued, anti-Haitian political authorities view the boat people as a disruptive force which destroys the community and drains public resources, while the Immigration and Naturalization Service fears that admitting Haitian refugees would set a precedent by "opening the floodgates" to immigrants from other authoritarian regimes. The paper then examines the roles played by the courts and other advocates for the rights of the Haitians (including government and church groups). The remainder of the paper presents an overview of efforts to formulate policy and legislation in response to the growing influx of Haitians to the United States in the late 1970s. A conclusion characterizes government's responses to this issue as contradictory and inconsistent. (KH)
Descriptors: Federal Government, Government Role, Haitians, Immigrants, Public Policy, Refugees, Social Theories
Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University, Miami, Florida FL 33199 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Florida International Univ., Miami. Latin American and Caribbean Center.
Identifiers - Location: Florida