US debates Haitian immigration; China accuses Google of being a pawn in America's "ideology war"; White House tries to whip up support for Bernanke; Greece "won't quit eurozone; and more
Immigration advocates and some U.S. legislators are pressing (WashPost) a reluctant U.S. government for eased immigration standards for Haitian earthquake victims. Advocates are focused on Haitians with relatives legally in the United States and on the hundreds of injured children doctors say could die without appropriate medical care. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Haitians already in the United States illegally could remain for eighteen months. Restrictions have not been eased for newly orphaned children or Haitians already seeking U.S. visas. Advocates want restrictions eased on the nineteen thousand Haitians with pending visa applications designed for foreign relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents. Nearly fifty-five thousand Haitians have been approved for these visas but are on waiting lists to enter because of congressional quotas.
Some advocates say the United States airlifted foreigners out of other emergencies. Others say Haiti earthquake victims could consume U.S. social services and displace American workers.
Jane Arellano, Los Angeles district director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told a crowd of Haitians (LAT) in Los Angeles that U.S. immigration officials have been instructed to expedite all Haiti-related immigration petitions and to "look favorably" on requests to extend visas, change immigration status, or waive the fees to apply for temporary protected status (TPS).
In the Baltimore Sun, Makeda Crane says waiving the $500 TPS application fee or granting permanent status to Haitian residents in the United States would improve Haiti's economy, since U.S.-based Haitian immigrants send more than $1 billion in remittances, more than one-third of Haiti's GDP.
In the Financial Times, Paul Collier and Jean-Louis Warnholz say Haiti's reconstruction efforts must include relocating economic activity away from Port-au-Prince to areas less exposed to storms, floods, and earthquakes.
China hardened its response (WSJ) to U.S. criticisms of its Internet policies, launching a coordinated rebuttal in its state media. It called allegations by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Google hypocritical and accused Google of being a pawn in America's "ideology war."
Japan: The Japanese city of Nago's newly elected mayor, who opposes the relocation of Futenma U.S. Marine air base, could force Japan to modify or scrap (NYT) its 2006 deal with the United States to rebuild the base.