According to an editorial in today’s New York Times, Cuba earns $8.2 billion a year by “exporting” roughly 50,000 Cuban doctors and nurses to work in various countries in Latin America and Africa. That comes out to about $200,000 per doctor. The doctors are paid approximately $60 a month, although some assigned to Ebola treatment centers get as much as $240 from the WHO.

Strangely, many of these doctors object to this. So did Emilio González (whom the Times describes as “a hard-line Cuban exile”), who was head of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services under George Bush. Mr. González described the labor of Cuban doctors abroad as “state-sponsored human trafficking.”

The Times isn’t so sure, citing the State Department’s “latest report on human trafficking that reported coercion of Cuban medical personnel does ‘not appear to reflect a uniform government policy.’” Hmmmm. “Doesn’t ‘appear?'” “Uniform?” You mean it’s “selective” human trafficking?

In any event, Mr. Gonzales engineered some legislation that enabled any Cuban doctor abroad to apply for fast-track immigration to the US simply by applying at any US embassy.

Sounds good so far. We need doctors, and doctors who are essentially sent abroad as slaves, whose earnings are confiscated by a totalitarian regime, and who voluntarily apply to asylum should probably be welcomed with open arms by a nation that is purportedly opposed to that sort of thing and open to all who are legitimately oppressed.

But the Times not only demurs, it vehemently disagrees. These damn doctors should stay put, argues the Times. After all, we are advised:

American immigration policy should give priority to the world’s neediest refugees and persecuted people.

Interesting. That’s a pretty big sample, including most of Africa, much of Latin America, a large part of the Middle East, all of Haiti and arguably most of Cuba. If buy buy that astonishing (and self-minted) definition of what official US immigration policy should be, better get set for a whopping hike in your tax bill and a lot of tents in your parks and parking lots. Moreover:

Secretary of State John Kerry and the American ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, have praised the work of Cuban doctors dispatched to treat Ebola patients in West Africa….
It is incongruous for the United States to value the contributions of Cuban doctors who are sent by their government to assist in international crises like the 2010 Haiti earthquake while working to subvert that government by making defection so easy.

Well, we wouldn’t want to embarrass Mr. Kerry, who does that to himself perfectly well without our assistance. But — it’s “incongruous” to value the labor of slaves — and then help them to escape their slavemasters? How? In what alternative universe?

It’s probably wearisome to my readers to read further examples of the curious thinking that infects the Times editorial board, whose logical twists derive from the most advanced ethical topologies, but this one requires such an extreme warping of hidden dimensions that we start wondering if anybody there reads this stuff before they send it off to the printer.

In the meantime, it’s perfectly fine, in the world of the Times, to deny asylum to highly-qualified, highly-desirable legal applicants for immigration, while at the same time welcoming waves of “undocumented” aliens to swarm our borders.