The public has seen the devastating images of Haitian migrants being abused by Border Patrol agents on horseback. The images of Black refugees have reflected long-standing anti-Black policies within our immigration system. Less than 5% of Haitians at the border are granted asylum and left with an impossible decision: to stay in Mexico where anti-Black discrimination and hyper-policing will hinder their livelihood, or return back to an unstable and tumultuous home country? Since September 2021, more than 6,000 Haitian migrants have been expelled back to Haiti under Title 42, according to UndocuBlack. The Department of Homeland Security knows exactly what they are doing, noting in August 2021 that “Haiti is grappling with a deteriorating political crisis, violence, and a staggering increase in human rights abuses,” yet the Biden administration continues to harm Haitians by employing dangerous and discriminatory policies.
It is crucial that we understand why Haitians are leaving their country and what dangers they will face if they are sent back. To expel Haitian migrants will only further endanger their well-being as they will resort to uncharted routes across the border. It is time for the Biden administration to respond to the injustices at the border and ensure that Haitians are treated with dignity and respect.
NATURAL DISASTERS & POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN HAITI
Haiti is currently in chaos amid political unrest, violence, corruption, widespread poverty, and food insecurity in a country still reeling from a devastating earthquake in 2010 and various other natural disasters. This has caused a wave of migrants to ask for asylum in the U.S.
In August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti and the death count rose with widespread damage, especially across the southern third of the country. The natural disaster hit amid instability following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, widespread poverty, hurricane season, kidnappings, violence, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
In the face of a tragic humanitarian crisis that has contributed to further deterioration of country conditions, the Biden administration continued to deport and expel Haitian immigrants back to their home country, despite requests from advocacy organizations to stop all deportations of Haitian migrants. The United States is aware that deporting migrants back to their country of origin could place them in dangerous situations, and yet they continue to do so despite priding themselves for being unlike the Trump administration’s xenophobic reign.
TITLE 42 AND HAITIANS
When the COVID-19 pandemic escalated globally, the Department of Health and Human Services decided to implement and enforce Title 42. As a result, thousands of asylum seekers that made the treacherous journey to the border, were turned away from accessing the legal system.
Advocates have called for an end to Title 42 but the Biden administration has only ended the policy for certain families. Secretary Mayorkas has stated that Title 42 should remain in place for public safety purposes, meanwhile the U.S. has opened its doors to international travelers. Title 42 now disproportionately affects Haitian refugees that have traveled alone across the border, under the premise that it is “unsafe” to let them in during a global pandemic.
The Biden administration has been hypocritical in their response to what is happening at the border with Haitian migrants. DHS Secretary Mayorkas has allowed for Title 42 to stay in place when it has specifically been used to harm migrants during COVID, and yet, he has released a statement saying “For the first time, our guidelines will, in the pursuit of public safety, require an assessment of the individual and take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances.” However, deportations of Haitian migrants continue despite this Administration’s stance on the most recent images of Haitians at the border.
HOW TO HELP
Tweet to raise awareness
Haitian migrants seeking safety in Texas are being met with violence from police, Border Patrol, and the National Guard. Meanwhile, Biden plans to continue expulsion flights full of families back into danger. Tell Biden to HALT all expulsion flights to Haiti and protect people seeking asylum now. #StopDeportationFlights. #DefendBlackImmigrants
URGENT: Tell Biden that we need to STOP all deportation flights with Haitian children and families now. We cannot send babies, as old as 2 days old, back into danger. Do something now by taking action! #StopDeportationFlights #DefendBlackImmigrants
URGENT: Tell President Biden that we need to PAROLE Hatiain migrants in and provide them the needed humanitarian support they deserve. #DefendBlackImmigrants#StopDeportationFlights
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FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Haitian Bridge Alliance & Human Rights First: Biden Administration’s Dangerous Haitian Expulsion Strategy Escalates the U.S. History of Illegal and Discriminatory Mistreatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the United States
- HRW: US: Treatment of Haitian Migrants Discriminatory
- UndocuBlack: BLACK IMMIGRANT ORGANIZATIONS FILE FOIA AND TEXAS PIA REQUESTS DEMANDING TRANSPARENCY AROUND TREATMENT OF HAITIAN AND OTHER MIGRANTS AT THE BORDER