Several black immigration organizations have filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Department of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, demanding that the Biden administration halt its continued deportations of Haitian asylum seekers.
Four groups filed complaint The Haitian Bridge Alliance, UndoQBlack Network, African Communities Together and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration request that any potential witnesses of Border Patrol abuse be allowed to remain in the US while their asylum claims are being investigated. Grievance was first reported by theGrio, and signed by dozens of advocacy groups.
MOre Than 13,000 Haitians Camped by the river in the Texas border town of Del Rio last weekend when border patrol officer on horseback Some people gathered there were accused of verbally assaulting and lashing them. The pictures of the violence shook the public.
Haitian asylum seekers – who have been around for a long time subject to anti-black discrimination and violence – Have been trying to enter the US through the Mexican border for years. The assassination of the Haitian president in July and a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August made the situation worse.
In their complaint, the groups argued that by conducting immediate deportations, DHS has failed to comply. A recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive Which instructs ICE to “withhold civil immigration enforcement action against victims or witnesses participating in a criminal investigation.”
“When victims have access to humanitarian protection, regardless of their immigration status, and can feel safe to come forward,” the directive states, it strengthens the capacity of law enforcement agencies… including ICE. undertakes detection, investigation and prosecution of offences. The complaint argues that such principles should also apply to victims of DHS offenses.
Guerlain Joseph, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said in a press release, “What we have seen in Del Rio is a regressive display of our values, as deportations and expulsions are based on a system of cruelty, oppression and oppression against the most vulnerable. has been administered.” release.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris campaigned on a promise to end Trumpian policies that lack respect and humanity, especially when it comes to immigration and, so far, they have failed,” she continued.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercas has said that while the pictures of Del Rio are disturbing and prompted him to do so. Temporarily discontinue use of Horse Patrol, he believes his department is doing the right thing by conducting mass deportations of Haitians. The Biden administration has already granted temporary protected status for Haitians in the US, but it is not until new arrivals.
On Sunday, Meyerkas defended the “Meet the Press” decision.
“This is a practice of a public health imperative,” he said. “We are in the middle of a pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control has a Title 42 authorization that we use to protect local communities, our personnel, and the American public to protect the migrants themselves. The pandemic is not behind us. Title 42 is a public health policy, not an immigration policy.”
Title 42 of the Public Health Services Act Gives federal health officials the power to take extraordinary measures to limit the transmission of infectious disease. Under former President Donald Trump, immigration officials began to use that justification to deport asylum seekers who arrived at the border, immediately returning them to their countries of origin and denying them the opportunity to apply for asylum. done. The Biden administration has continued to pursue the controversial policy.
Mayerkas said about 4,000 Haitians camping in Del Rio have been deported under Title 42 so far.
Critics of the policy have called it a small measure to curb immigration. Federal health officials said last year that immigration officials in the Trump administration had dismissed senior CDC scientists who objected to the implementation of the rule for immigration purposes, saying that there was no evidence that doing so would slow the spread of COVID-19.
The organization’s complaint states that migrants have been denied access to lawyers, interpreters, adequate medical care, fear-based screening and proper nutrition and hygiene, all in the scorching heat. It also highlights physical intimidation and violence against migrants by Border Patrol officers, and misleading statements made by Homeland Security officials to Haitians about where they were being taken.
Julian Castro, a former Obama administration cabinet member, said, “We are not fulfilling our obligation as a country to have people who want a better life.” told earlier this week. “And at the very least, asylum seekers, whether they are from Haiti, or one of these Northern Triangle countries, should be allowed to claim their asylum rather than being severely expelled from the country. This That was not the change we were expecting on immigration policy.”