Trump is right about Haiti

Big media, still breathless after endlessly discussing and dissecting Michael Wolff's new book, have another shiny object to chase: President Trump's supposed comments on Haiti.  In a meeting with lawmakers, the president was reported to say, "Why are we having all these people from [s---]-hole countries come here?"

Any recordings?  Any proof that he said this?  No matter.  The media ran with it.  Outrage and angst – and a bit of glee for the media talking heads since now they can actually say one of George Carlin's seven dirty words on air and not get in trouble for it.

President Trump corrected the record via Twitter, saying, "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.  Never said 'take them out.'  Made up by Dems."

Whether Trump used the word "s-hole" or not is up in the air.  What isn't difficult to dispute is that he is right about the status of Haiti, and some African countries, regardless of what word he chose to describe it.

Don't believe me?  Let's ask the U.S. State Department.  Their Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a Haiti travel advisory on January 10, 2018.

Here's a level 3 out of 4 travel alert, with 4 being "do not travel."

Reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common.  Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies.  Protests, tire-burning, and road blockages are frequent and often spontaneous.

Level 4 is reserved for such paradises as Syria and Iran, which might also fall under Trump's descriptive term "s-hole."

A number of African countries also fall into level 3 or 4, where travel should either be reconsidered or canceled.  "This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks," fitting President Trump's description.

Mind you, the president didn't refer to Haitians.  Instead, he spoke of the country, using the term he may or may not have actually used.  But his intent was clear.

Allowing unfettered immigration from such countries floods the U.S. with people adding little value to America.  Many are illiterate; don't speak English; are low-skilled; and end up being supported by American taxpayers, providing little or nothing in return – not to mention the gang members and other criminal elements.

That's very different from an immigrant engineer from Norway or New Zealand, productive and willing to assimilate, as did immigrants from early in the last century.

Value is important.  In fact, it is a major initiative of government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  These are mandates that doctors and hospitals provide and demonstrate "value" in the care they provide.

Why not "value-based immigration"?  That is the essence of merit-based immigration practiced by most developed countries in the world, but somehow it's anathema to open borders advocates of both political parties here in the U.S.

The president also opened the door as to why Haiti is an "s-hole."  What role did the Clinton Foundation, now under federal investigation, play in fleecing Haiti and turning it into the "s-hole" that Trump described?

Lastly, President Trump, in a crude yet effective manner, changed the discussion from one of compassion for the poor of the world to one of practicality when it comes to who is moving to America and from where.

It's just like when he made comments in 2015 about Mexican illegal immigrants: "they're bringing drugs.  They're bringing crime.  They're rapists.  And some, I assume, are good people."  All of a sudden, the narrative shifted.  Now the media had to disprove Trump's assertion, defending gang members and Kate Steinle's killer.

Trump is putting the left on its heels.  Now the leftists will have to defend Haiti as not being a country of "crime and civil unrest," as the State Department describes it.  Ditto for other countries flooding our borders with immigrants.  Brilliant strategy.

The high-horse media, Democrats, and NeverTrump Republicans should spare us their outrage.  Trump is speaking as the common man does.  As his voters do.  Say what you mean, and mean what you say.  Substance over style.  Trump being Trump.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.