(San Antonio, TX) — We are absolutely disgusted by the Biden Administration’s decision to deport thousands of Haitians one month after the devastating earthquake and storm that resulted in 2,200 deaths and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Families who lost everything to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake are now living through flash floods and mudslides. The destruction is large-scale and unprecedented, worsening Haiti’s already unstable political and social infrastructure. Haiti is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change – and we can expect climate disasters to continue to devastate the nation in the years to come.
Furthermore, we are appalled by the photos of Haitian asylum seekers being rounded up by border agents on horseback in Texas. These images are no different from when KKK members and slave patrollers would round up enslaved Black Americans during Reconstruction. Anti-Blackness and white supremacy has and continues to permeate all systems in the United States, especially immigration. Not only are our Haitian brothers and sisters still reeling from the political, economic and environmental disasters at home, but they’re also being treated like animals at our borders for seeking asylum.
After the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, the Biden Administration claimed the U.S. would be a friend to Haiti, but the treatment and deportation of Haitians at our border is contradictory. Biden’s actions have made it extremely clear that there has been no significant change between this administration and other presidents when dealing with Black asylum seekers. Haitians have and continue to suffer immensely at the hands of DHS.
Seeking asylum is an internationally-recognized human right, yet Haitians are being denied due process, locked in detention, and deported to unstable and unsafe conditions. It is unconscionable to send people back to a country in ruin – but DHS has wasted no time in ramping up at least seven expulsion flights for Haitians stranded at the Texas border town of Del Rio. These flights will run daily. DHS is bypassing asylum protocols and eviscerating any opportunity for the families and individuals in need of refuge and safety.
“The dehumanizing and abusive treatment by the government through the use of legislative and police powers is not new to Black people in America. To be persecuted and to have your legal rights denied by the government through legislation, court decisions, and police violence is not new to Black people in America. To seek asylum is a lawful act unless you are Black. Biden promised racial justice with fair and humane treatment to all immigrants seeking asylum and other types of deportation release. However, his policies and his allowances for abuses by CBP and ICE against Haitians and people of African descent makes clear that his “all” did not include Black people.” said Nicole Morgan, Associate Attorney in the Family Detention Unit at RAICES.
“Enough is Enough. Biden must be held accountable for his broken promises and his perpetuation of racial inequity and abuse through his policies and complicity with the human rights abuses committed against Haitians and the people of African descent,” she continued.
Biden’s brand of state-sponsored terrorism against Haitians is white supremacy in action. Black immigrant families are blatantly overlooked and sometimes altogether erased in the U.S. debate surrounding immigration and yet are disproportionately impacted by anti-immigrant policy, detention, and deportations at our borders.
The day after a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking Title 42 expulsions, the Biden Administration appealed the decision and doubled down in its defense of this barbaric Trump policy. Title 42 is how POTUS is able to send deportation planes to Haiti, without offering them legal protection and asylum.
RAICES refuses to let the inhumane treatment of Black immigrants go under the radar. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Haitian and Black immigrant-led organizations and echo their calls for the Biden administration to stop partaking in systemic anti-Black racism within the U.S. asylum and refugee systems, end the deportation of Haitian immigrants, and stop using Title 42 in its entirety.