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America’s Inhumane Treatment of Haitians
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published September 23, 2021

Thousands Displaced

U.S. border patrol officers attempt to contain mostly migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad AcuÒa into Del Rio, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Thousands of Haitian migrants have been arriving to Del Rio, Texas, as authorities attempt to close the border to stop the flow of migrants. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Haitian Migrants were “expelled” from American soil over the weekend; the forced movement is bleeding into the current week.  A lot of footwork took place on Monday, according to U.S. officials, as over 6,000 people of the Haitian community were removed from Texas. Horse patrol and other actions taken from Homeland Security are under scrutiny, highlighting the ‘Inhumane’ force being practiced to revert Haitian families to their starting point.

Multiple sources reported that this large population of the Haitian community did not legitimize their citizenship within the U.S., therefore, they are not recognized as American citizens.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officer attempts to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Thousands of Haitian migrants have been arriving to Del Rio, Texas, as authorities attempt to close the border to stop the flow of migrants. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Speaking on behalf of Homeland Security, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was captured stating, “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s life.”

Traveling across Mexico, Haitian men, women, and children reached encampments found within Texas. Some people traveling from Haiti have taken refuge in Mexico, Associated Press recorded Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, stating “Mexico does not have any problem with them being in our country as long as they respect Mexico’s laws.”

Haitian migrants wade across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, to return to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, to avoid deportation to Haiti from the U.S. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signals the beginning of what could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

There have been multiple flights issued by the U.S., transferring hundreds of recently deported people back to Haiti this past Sunday. The Haitian government has shown concern in the abrupt arrival of the unsheltered population.

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New York Times recorded the head of Haiti’s national migration office, Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, stating, “We are here to say welcome; they can come back and stay in Haiti — but they are very agitated,” said Delva. “They don’t accept the forced return.”

Agents on horseback engaged with the weary Haitian families, preventing further movement across the border. Major concerns expressed by the Haitians that are currently being moved include food and security.

A little girl holds her stuffed animal high above the water as migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande river from Del Rio, Texas, to return to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, to avoid deportation. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Reporters on the frontlines have captured the following statement from a Haitian man, “We need food for every day. I can go without, but my kids can’t,” The man was identified as Jean, with his last name omitted, he had been living in Chile for five years before beginning the journey north to the U.S. It is unknown if he made it back across and to the camp.

Many Haitian families shared their fear of returning to their homeland, due to gang-controlled areas and the extremely low levels of resources. A number of Haitian people are returning to no direct place to live.

Men lift a baby over the waters of the Rio Grande river as migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the from Del Rio, Texas, to return to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, to avoid deportation from the U.S. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Since Friday, approximately 3,300 people from the Del Rio camp have been removed, with zealous goals to expel thousands more before the week is over. This type of rapid expulsion came from initiatives put in place by former U.S. president, Donald Trump, in March of 2020. It allowed for people who have not been recognized by the U.S., “to be immediately removed from the country without an opportunity to seek asylum.” according to recent reports from Politico.

Different reactions have erupted from Capitol Hill on the matter.  The following elected officials and academic experts weighed in on the heaviness of the current events.

Migrants wade back and forth across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, to Del Rio, Texas, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies, CSULB, and executive director of the African American Cultural Center (Us), stated, “The chasing down and charging with horses, herding like cattle and whipping Haitian immigrants for simply seeking asylum in the U.S. as a human right and urgent need is cruel, inhumane, savage and unsupportable. It is also a reflection of a racist approach to immigration policy in which the dark peoples of the world, especially Black people, are seen as dirty, diseased, dangerous and deficient in human dignity and social worth, and therefore, unworthy of acceptance in the U.S. for any reason.”

Karenga continued, “Clearly, this savage and abusive treatment calls for immediate and vigorous disciplinary punishments and policy correctives that not only address and end this particular form of brutality, but also ends similar policies and practices and instead offer an immigration policy that is dignity affirming, rights respecting, and a firm expression of equity and justice for Haitians and all peoples of the world.”

 Congresswoman Maxine Waters shared her response. In her recent press release, Waters “condemned” the current behavior observed in the rapid expulsion of the Haitian people from the borders.

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She stated, “In every sense of the word – I am absolutely outraged by the United States Border Patrol agents’ incomprehensible treatment and abuse of Haitian migrants seeking refuge in the United States.”

Congresswoman Waters continued, “Right now, Haitians are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after a devastating earthquake in August – the second catastrophic earthquake to hit the island nation in less than twelve years. Haitians are reeling from the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Jovenel Moïse and the lack of a credible, functioning government that has followed.”

Waters shared within her press release, an overlooked perspective of the Haitian people, “Haitians are facing widespread gang violence that has paralyzed entire communities. The situation in Haiti is devastating, and Haitians are attempting to seek refuge in the United States for the possibility of a better, safer life for themselves and their families.”

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“Fueled by the ongoing strife in Haiti, Haitians are making long and dangerous journeys to reach the United States – a country they believe is fueled by compassion and justice – only to be met by the brutality of cowboys on horseback with whips. The images of this unconscionable attack by United States border agents on helpless Haitian migrants have an uncanny resemblance to the photos in our history books that show the truth of how Black people were treated in this country in centuries past. I demand that this detestable treatment of Haitians be stopped immediately!” Congresswoman Waters said.

Providing her final thoughts, Waters said, “Not only am I outraged by the reprehensible behavior of these border agents who seem to lack humanity, I am extremely disappointed in the Biden Administration for its willingness to continue the racist application of immigration policies and tactics utilized by Donald Trump, the most xenophobic and dangerous president in our nation’s history.”

“I am calling on the United States to allow the Haitian migrants to file for the refugee or migration status they are seeking as allowed by the United States Constitution and urge the Department of Homeland Security to conduct its investigation into the matter comprehensively and credibly.” Waters declared.

Actions practiced by Homeland Security have been flagged as “inhumane,” Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted Saturday the following statement, “This is completely inhumane, Haitians are experiencing a crisis after crisis and deserve compassion. Instead of stepping up deportation, we should be halting it. It’s shameful that from administration to administration our cruel immigration policies remain.”

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) stated, “The images that we’ve seen over the last 24 hours are horrific and I share the outrage being expressed by Americans across the country. This sort of mistreatment is an affront to the very conscience of this nation, and it is absolutely unacceptable.”

Beatty continued, “The Congressional Black Caucus has a long history of supporting our brothers and sisters across the Diaspora and we have pledged our support for the people of Haiti. To that end, I have called for an investigation into the actions of CBP and call on DHS Secretary Mayorkas to ensure that mistreatment and violence like this never happen again. The Congressional Black Caucus is actively monitoring developments and we are prepared to travel to the border to observe this situation ourselves. Treatment like this cannot be tolerated.”

Congresswoman Karen Bass stressed her distaste, by stating, “Seeking asylum in this country is a legal process. What’s happening is unconscionable. Border patrol agents on horseback whipping Black immigrants is reminiscent of the 1800s. They must be held accountable. It’s unacceptable and must stop immediately. We have to get to the root of this issue which starts with international engagement and addressing why people are leaving their homes, their families, and their communities to make this perilous journey.”

When Vice President Harris was prompted to speak on the current action taken against Haitian people crossing the border in refuge, she stated, “What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were is horrible.” She continued, “And I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there.  But human beings should never be treated that way, and I’m deeply troubled about it.  And I’ll also be talking with Secretary Mayorkas today about it.”

Labeled as “America’s swiftest large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades,” over 320 Deported Haitians arrived in Port-au-Prince on three flights on Sunday.

According to National Public Radio (NPR) on Monday, there were more than 10,000 people, many of them originally from Haiti, camped out in neglected conditions under the International Bridge.

The source confirmed flights made back to Haiti was a directive uber the Biden administration. The general request from those fleeing their homeland in Haiti is to have a better life.

 

 

Categories: International | Political
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