Dear Brazil, Meet Haitian Diaspora

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A tent camp in Port-au-Prince where Haitians prepare to leave for Brazil.

After passing through five countries using planes and buses, and sometimes bribes, Haitians arrived in droves at a small Amazonian town in Brazil near the Bolivian border. Prejudice toward Haitians is alive, but not universal in Brazil. But the obstacles of difference are no matter for some Haitians. New arrivals study Spanish and Portuguese in an attempt to acclimate. On one side of the dilemma Brazilian authorities are feeling overwhelmed by the struggle to absorb the diaspora that has landed on their doorstep. But on the other side of it they should feel a touch of pride. Haitians have chosen Brazil as their destination because they are looking for work, and that is what Brazil’s growing economy offers right now.

Could There Be a Market for Migration?

Even though government sees disorganization, having multiple citizenships is natural and part of the future, according to an article published in The Economist. What citizenship should be based on is your conscious decision to live in a country, and that having more than one is OK if that is what you will. So stake a claim for residency, pay your taxes, and get your rights and responsibilities as a citizen in return. Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it?

But where things get tricky is when it comes to the price of gaining admission. Gary Becker, a member of the Institute of Economic Affairs, has the right medicine. He thinks that building a market for migration could work. Trading cash for a visa without the obstacle of quota lines would be the singular way for foreigners to gain access to work opportunities. So that would mean price would be dependent on an individual’s desire to live in a country, no matter what skill set, age, or background he possesses. Whomever sees the greatest benefit from migrating would put the greatest value on the price of of another citizenship.

The mistake to watch out for concerns who should set up the admissions criteria. Sure the U.S. might think that scientists and engineers will help the economy, but how many the economy needs and how they are attracted is a matter for companies to figure out, not governments. Companies know what their needs are. Meeting them is a matter of efficiency. That is why Gary Becker wants a way for companies’ human resources departments, and not government quotas, to determine the demand for citizenship.