By: Roy Douglas Malonson
The White House is taking a beating over its handling of the influx of Haitian migrants at the U.S. southern border after critics say they are trying to “drive out” helpless people who fled to this country in hopes of a better and safer future.
Disturbing images and footage of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback maneuvering through crowds of Haitians, forcibly blocking the migrants who were attempting to cross the border, has sparked criticism from across the country.
Even Democrats are calling on the Biden Administration to end its use of a pandemic-era authority to deport migrants without giving them an opportunity to seek asylum in the United States.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the treatment of the migrants was enough to “turn your stomach” and called on President Joe Biden to discontinue the “hateful and xenophobic” policies enacted by former president Donald Trump.
On the flip side, many Republicans say Biden isn’t doing enough to deal with what they call a “crisis” at the border.
So, who is right and what’s really going on? To us, it looks like it is just another way to “white-wash” America, as the Haitians are just more Black people trying to live out their dreams.
U.S. Congressman Al Green created a resolution condemning the inhumane treatment of those fleeing the crises in Haiti. He made a passionate statement while speaking to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
“As a full-time Freedom Fighter, I rise today Madam Speaker because Black lives still matter, and they matter wherever they happen to be,” Green said. “They matter in Haiti. I’ve been to Haiti, I’ve seen the conditions there. We need to do something about our friends in this hemisphere. And if they matter in Haiti to me, surely, they matter at the Southern Border. Changes in the power structure don’t change the circumstances.”
Attorneys and advocates say they have been denied access to thousands of migrants camped underneath the Del Rio International Bridge and have been given very little information by officials on what is happening.
Many say the Biden administration policies led Haitians to believe they would get asylum, but then they shipped many of them right back to Haiti without telling them where they were going. It’s been horrifying watching the Haitians go through this. On Tuesday, dozens of migrants deported from the U.S. from the U.S. tried to rush back into a plane that landed in Port-au-Prince. A security guard closed the plane door in time as some deportees began throwing rocks and shoes at the plane.
Homeland Security has been busing Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border, and Arizona.
The criteria for deciding who is flown to Haiti and who is released in the U.S. was unclear, but two U.S. officials said single adults were the priority for expulsion flights.
Of the remaining migrants in Texas, many were seen with tickets that were allegedly handed out by Border Patrol agents. The tickets were supposedly classified with colors; yellow for groups including pregnant women, blue for families with children, and red and green for single men and women.
“Probably those with children are going to be given a notice to appear [in immigration court], and then the others … I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez.
Wade McMullen, an attorney with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a Washington, D.C.- based nonprofit human rights advocacy organization, traveled to Del Rio to assist other advocacy groups helping the migrants at the camp.
“Everybody in this country and around the world should be up in arms about the fact that we have an immigration system that operates as such a black box. Right now, we have no official access to understand what processes are under way, what protections are being provided for the migrants,” McMullen said.
The White House has increased deportation flights of migrants to as many as seven a day, and are now talking to Brazil and Chile to possibly repatriate Haitians who previously resided in those countries as they scramble to contain the fallout.
“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,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a news conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, Mexico has stepped in to assist busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border.
This is not the first time Mexico has lent support. It intensified patrols to stop unaccompanied Central American children from reaching the Texas border in 2014, allowed tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration courts in 2019 and, just last month, began deporting Central American migrants to Guatemala after the Biden administration flew them to southern Mexico.
But is that just another way to keep the Blacks out of their country, too?
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said most of the Haitians already had refugee status in Chile or Brazil and weren’t seeking it in Mexico.
“What they are asking for is to be allowed to pass freely through Mexico to the United States,” Ebrard explained.
The Haitian migrants who are already in Mexico’s detention centers and have not requested asylum will be the first to be flown directly to Haiti once Mexico begins those flights, according to the official.
Haitians have been going through hell for decades. Many were forced to leave their Caribbean nation after a devastating 2010 earthquake, and most recently, the people of Haiti are struggling from back-to-back blows; the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in mid-August.