As we see Haitians at the Southwestern border gathering under the Del Rio Bridge and then being forced onto plane destined for return to Haiti and her calls of Racism, we are not surprised. American immigration policies have
never favored migration from countries with people of color and in regards to Haiti we have held a hostile position since the Slave Revolt of 1804 when Thomas Jefferson, a slaveowner, was President refused to recognize the government that overthrew the French.
Our publisher Shawn Towle, has first-hand knowledge of this issue, when in 1983 during the Ronald Reagan Administration, as a member of the United States Coast Guard, he participated in the return of Haitians on the vessel WHEC Gallatin during Haitian Boat Ops, who were found at sea a forced to return to Port-Au-Prince. This was contrary to the treatment of Cuban at the same period of time, who were found aboard boats and then taken to Miami.
The reason for the different responses was due to Haitian being considered “Economic Refugees” and the Cubans “Political Refugees”. As a wide-eyed 19-year-old Towle saw no difference other than the color of their skin, where Haitians had darker ebony skin and the Cubans light brown tones.
Largely it is now evident, because the Cubans were fleeing a Communist Country in Cuba and the repatriated into Florida, we have seen a direct impact on our political system, where as a swing-state, it played a major role in our election since 2000, and the Cuban policy is at the forefront.
This has also given rise to Floridian politicians like Sen Marco Rubio (R-FL).