Black America is outraged over the U.S. government’s treatment of Haitian migrants who have been crossing the Mexican border into Texas over the last few weeks.
President Joe Biden’s administration has deported thousands of the estimated 14,000 Haitians who have entered the U.S. fleeing turmoil and political unrest in Haiti. Black leaders are not just upset over the repatriation of the Haitian refugees but also their treatment. Photos have gone viral showing Haitians being brutally rounded up by border patrol officers on horseback. The images are reminiscent of slave owners rounding up Black people during the antebellum south, critics say.
“If you still don’t think Border Patrol whipping Black Haitian asylum seekers is rooted in white supremacy then remember that asylum is legal & there are ~600K undocumented (mostly white) Canadians in America & you never once saw BP whip them, cage them, or block them from entry,” tweeted human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid, host of “The Qasim Rashid Show” radio show.
Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told NewsOne that the behavior toward the Haitian refugees is abhorrent” and “a disgrace to the nation and the world.”
“We cannot be silent while our brothers and sisters are treated in such a way as they flee multiple crises,” Hewitt said. “We owe Haitian asylum seekers respect, not disdain, especially while they are at their most vulnerable.”
Black leaders from civil rights and immigration organizations wrote an open letter demanding action from Biden for Black asylum seekers, saying that the Biden immigration policies are anti-Black. They want an investigation into the actions of the Border Patrol.
The advocay group Black Alliance for Just Immigration, which includes African Americans and Black immigrants from Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean, tweeted that they are “calling on @POTUS to grant immediate humanitarian relief to Haitian asylum seekers. They also ask for an investigation into the brutality of Border Patrol agents.” The tweet included a link to the letter.
According to the letter, the Biden racial equity pledge made on his first day in office must extend to immigration policy and the actions of Homeland Security, NewsOne reported.
“Homeland Security is not exempt from this holistic review or this moral imperative,” said Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “It is frankly disturbing and deeply concerning that we are not seeing the work and the fundamental shifts required to comply with the president’s racial equity executive order.”
Black leaders said in the letter that the harsh treatment of the Haitians is based on race.
The Moguldom Nation CEO Jamarlin Martin tweeted, “The Haitian doesn’t have the green eyes like the little Talibans from Afghanistan, who are getting a VIP welcoming. This is why Ahed Tamimi’s mother said she became a Palestinian star b/c she looked white.This is why you kill 1 white woman, you go #1 on America’s Most Wanted.”
The federal government is not alone in its lack of humanity for the Haitian immigrants, tweeted Reporting-live-from-the-Kremlin @wishbumpycoulda. “A podcast I recently listened to said black churches were bringing diapers & supplies to Afghan & Latino refugees, but Haitians weren’t receiving the same charity. There was little media coverage to inform the public about the condition of Haitian refugees. Why is that?”
Biden released an executive order on Jan. 20, 2021 giving priority to racial equity across his entire administration. “Our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths,” he said. “Entrenched disparities in our laws and public policies, and in our public and private institutions, have often denied that equal opportunity to individuals and communities.”
Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer has joined the call for better treatment of Haitian migrants and urged Biden to end mass deportations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said the “majority” of Haitians will be expelled under Title 42, a policy of former President Donald Trump’s administration that stopped most arrivals at the southern border because migrants could spread covid-19, France 24 reported.
“I urge President Biden… to immediately put a stop to these expulsions, and to end this Title 42 policy at our southern border,” Sen. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “We cannot continue these hateful and xenophobic Trump policies that disregard our refugee laws.”
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