Days ago, the nation was taken aback when horseback riding U.S. Border Patrol agents were photographed and recorded using long "reins" to confront Haitian migrants seeking asylum in America. Shortly thereafter, federal authorities opened an investigation regarding the matter. While the White House characterized these images as "horrific" and inhumane, President Joe Biden's administration has moved forward with efforts to deport thousands of migrants seeking asylum from a nation battling political strife and natural disasters. In response, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, UndocuBlack Network, African Communities Together and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration are calling on the Biden administration to provide safe haven for Black migrants who need it.
As reported by The Grio, a number of Black immigration advocacy groups have filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Among other things, the complaint questions how DHS plans to investigate the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents if many of the people who experienced their actions firsthand are deported. Instead, the formal complaint requests that Haitian migrants who witnessed these actions be granted temporary asylum while the matter is investigated.
Providing asylum to those in need of it will be an ongoing process for Black immigration organizations. On September 27, The Hill reported that approximately 4,000 migrants had passed through Panama en route to the US-Mexico border. While a portion of this group comes from Cuba, the majority of this group comes from Haiti. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry recently said that people will continue to move from the Caribbean and Central America because of the economic disparities that exist across the globe.
"Migration will continue as long as the planet has both wealthy areas, whilst most of the world’s population lives in poverty, even extreme poverty, without any prospects of a better life,” Henry said, according to The Hill.
Recently, U.S. Border Patrol agents cleared out a group of more than 10,000 migrants that gathered in Del Rio, Texas seeking asylum. However, it is unclear who the Biden administration will respond to this new group of asylum seekers.