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Haitians in the US: Your vote matters, now more than ever | Opinion


With the rise of several active Haitian-American political action committees and political advocacy organizations in the United States, the Haitian electorate is gaining popularity with lawmakers on both sides. These lawmakers finally understand that their party must no longer minimize the Haitian vote. Although small, the Haitian vote is more impactful than the vote of white and black Americans and all other ethnic groups combined.

The integration of minority groups and immigrants into local politics and government, especially in relatively competitive states like Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania — where presidents traditionally win by narrow margins —has led to Congressional control and presidential election victories.

Americans have elected their president by tidal waves only in 10 of the 59 U.S. presidential elections. In the other 49, especially the final two, Americans in key states picked their winners by small margins of victory. What’s key in these battleground states is that pockets of immigrants populate them.

Haitian-American leaders understand this opportunity. They have built a self-sufficient Haitian electorate to place the Haitian vote on a tantalizing pedestal with unlimited potential to be that margin both sides require if they are to win swing states in November. In this direction, it is essential to give impetus to the development of new American-Haitian policy and the amendment of existing ones to gain a seat at the table of world diplomatic affairs.

There is no doubt that 2022 is the perfect time for Haitian-American voters to build a monolithic electoral bloc and demonstrate political strength. Voters must raise their voice through activism, community engagement, political participation and literacy drives so more Haitians can see that their voice matters and has implications for political and social change in their community. 

Maintaining this momentum is critical to getting Haitian voters off the fringes and into discussions about economic growth, travel restrictions and deportations around Haiti and other countries whose domestic politics are shaped by American policy.

Bobb Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in Administration and Public Policy with specializations in Public Law and Managing Local Government. Dr. Rousseau firmly believes that the Haitian diaspora in the United States is at a prime stage to build an attractive political force that can shift U.S. immigration, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid to Haiti and to advance the Haitian agenda around the world.

More by Bobb Rousseau

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