I’ve had a very negative reaction to those American missionaries in Haiti who picked up Haitian “orphans” and tried to take them across the border into the Dominican Republic.
I’ve not kept up on all the details. Instead, I’ve just been hearing bits of the story: the missionaries lacked only a single document to legally cross the border; not all the children were actual orphans but had been knowingly given to the missionaries by their parents; the missionaries made no effort to ascertain the actual status of the “orphans” before taking them; the kids had flyers showing a beautiful resort-like place where they would be taken; etc.
This whole thing stinks like three-day-old fish. What were those “missionaries” thinking!? In interviews some of them said things like their hearts were in the right place or it was God’s bidding or stuff like that. Just what you’d expect to hear. And none of it an excuse for breaking U.S. law, Haitian law, or Dominican law. None of it an excuse for picking up kids off the street like so many stray dogs.
I don’t care what these people intended to do with or for the kids (and in the real world, doing it in God’s name is the weakest excuse of all). You can’t just fly into a foreign country, pick up kids off the street willy nilly, and take them out of the country for your own purposes. The audacity! Does the word kidnapping ring a bell?
NOTE: 2/4/2010, 1:30 pm — CNN reports the ten Americans have been officially charged with “kidnapping children and criminal association.” The New York Times reports the charges are “abduction and criminal association.”
Subsequent reports are noting that in Haiti there is no bail for such charges, and that the penalty can range up to life in prison.