In September, videos of CBP officers on horseback using reins like whips and charging at Haitian asylum-seekers to keep them from entering the United States shocked and appalled people around the world. We continue to be appalled that the wealthiest country in the Americas is deporting refugees back to the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. We are appalled that yet again, the Biden Administration is failing on its promises and is hiding behind Trump-era anti-immigrant policies.
The images from Del Rio are modern analogies to the treatment of African and Caribbean slaves during the colonization of America. They are reminders of the United States’ long history of imperialist, racist abuse of our Haitian neighbors, including the U.S. military occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934 and U.S. support of dictators through the 20th century.
In the national reckoning with racial inequality and anti-Blackness following the killing of George Floyd, we must remember that the Black struggle for human and civil rights is international in scope. “Black lives matter” means that ALL Black lives matter, be she a US Citizen, an undocumented person, an asylum-seeker, or a resident of a far-off nation.
The United States government MUST do better. We are appalled that Haitians have a less-than 5% chance of being granted asylum. We are appalled that since September of this year, there have been more than 66 expulsion flights to Haiti deporting over 7,000 asylum-seekers to a country in political, economic, and environmental turmoil. We are appalled, and disappointed, that the Biden Administration has continued to uphold Trump’s racist and xenophobic Title 42 policy to reject asylum-seekers’ right to seek safety from persecution.
We need hospitality, not violence, and Annunciation House is ready to deliver. We will always embrace the opportunity to stand in solidarity with Haitian families seeking safety, security, and the ability to feed their children. Over the past month, we have welcomed hundreds of Haitian refugees through our doors, and we will continue to do so as long as the need exists.
We call on the Biden Administration, ICE, and CBP to do their part by ceasing and desisting from their inhumane cruelty against Haitians and all other refugees, and ending Title 42.
Black Lives Matter!