Haitian Migrants Update: Deportations End with Border Patrol Whips: Report

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A boy bathes with a jug of water at a US-Mexico border migrant camp September 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. | Source: John Moore / Getty

IIn an astonishing reversal, Haitian migrants who gathered in Texas in an attempt to seek asylum would no longer face deportations and would have been allowed to remain in the United States after outrage escalated from the part of border patrol officers on horseback appearing to physically assault blacks attempting to cross into the country from Mexico.

The move by immigration officials came days after the Biden administration began mass deporting the migrants by sending them back to Haiti, where some of them said they had not been informed of their final destination. The abrupt about-face was apparently the result of widespread shame from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the border patrol, which had approached the humanitarian crisis with a zero-tolerance policy that turned violent.

While exact figures were not immediately available, the Associated Press reported – citing anonymous government officials – that a “very, very large scale” of Haitian migrants were “released”, although it not be clear what this declared freedom actually looks like in terms of where they will go.

“Many have been released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, a result that requires less processing time from border patrol officers than ordering an appearance in court in the United States. ‘immigration and indicates the speed at which authorities are moving, ”the Associated Press reported.

There was no mention of the possibility for migrants to apply for US citizenship, although they were reportedly “being processed under immigration laws”.

The US government’s 180 follow calls by black leaders for presidency Joe biden take decisive action for asylum seekers prompted by images of Border patrol officers on horseback use reins to whip Haitian migrants in scenes reminiscent of the pre-war south.

Activist Tamika mallory was among those voices who used plain language to call out the role of the federal government in contributing to the international humanitarian crisis on American soil.

Noting how Biden did not use his first United Nations speech as president on Tuesday morning to address the situation in Del Rio, Texas, Mallory suggested that all of the Democratic leadership as well as the president’s administration were at blame.

“They are responsible,” Mallory said of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, using their names. “There is no one else.”

She later added that “there is no way around the fact that under this administration they are responsible.”

UNITED STATES-POLICY-IMMIGRATION-TEXAS

A mounted United States Border Patrol officer uses the reins to whip and try to prevent a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, September 19, 2021. | Source: PAUL RATJE / Getty

For his part, DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initially tried to downplay the situation at the border and suggested that there was nothing inhumane about the treatment of Haitian migrants. He said the border patrol did not use whips even though video footage showed them whipping the migrants.

After DHS began deporting them on Sunday, Mayorkas used the moment to try to dissuade other migrants from literally following in their footsteps.

“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your trip will not be successful and you will endanger your life and that of your family, ”Mayorkas said on Monday. But as Mayorkas uttered the words, images and video footage went viral showing a border patrol violently attacking Haitian migrants in an attempt to round them up for deportation.

This led to the outcry which no doubt influenced Mayorkas to undermine his own words.

After learning about plans for the removal of migrants, Haiti asked the United States on Sunday for a “humanitarian moratorium” on the expulsions of around 14,000 people.

“The situation is very difficult,” said Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, who heads Haiti’s national migration office.

Admittedly, it was never a practical idea, let alone human, to deport people to a nation that is in the grip of multiple crises following the assassination of the Haitian president. Jovenel Moses and last month’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed more than 2,100 people, injured more than 10,000 and left tens of thousands homeless.

At least one group of Haitian migrants expelled from Del Rio were not told they were returning to Haiti in a reported case of duplicity used against desperate people seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

People who were taken from Texas and disembarked in Port-au-Prince expressed a similar sentiment to human rights defenders and Haitian leaders who said it was not a good idea to send the migrants back to Haiti.

“How did they get us back here?” Johnson Bordes asked in an interview with the Post moments after stepping off the plane that landed in Haiti on Sunday. “It is an injustice. I don’t even know where we’re going to sleep tonight.

After Moïse’s assassination in July, Mayorkas told Haitians they should not go to the United States

Mayorkas said Haitians trying to get to the United States will “die” and would have discouraged any “migration by sea.” He later added: “Let me be clear, if you go to sea you will not come to the United States.”

The United States has already extended protections to Haitian nationals living in the 50 continental states under Temporary protection status (TPS). This status was renewed in May for an additional 18 months for a maximum of 55,000 Haitians. Haitians living in the United States under GST were previously facing evictions until Mayorkas renewed their protections.

SEE ALSO:

After gruesome photos surface, black leaders call on President Biden to take action on asylum seekers now

Photos of border patrol with horse whips chasing Haitian migrants conjure images of slavery

HAITI-LES CAYES-SEMÊME-PEAL DE DEATH

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