Afro Connect: Haitian Immigration Update

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It has been two months since Black migrants from Haiti sought asylum in Del Rio, Texas. The incident dominated the news cycle until the Biden Administration stepped in to remove the immigrants from the bridge.

There are three important issues that must be addressed: 

1. Did the officers who appeared to be wrangling Black immigration face any accountability? 

2. Is the United States aware of the safety of individuals in Haiti?  

3. What happened to the immigrants who applied for asylum? 

Black Americans in particular were traumatized by images of Border Patrol agents on horseback clashing with Haitian migrants. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised a swift investigation, “completed in days, and not weeks,”.

Yet two months after the incident, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it has stopped investigating the incident. Without giving a clear explanation, the inspector general of Homeland Security declined to investigate the conduct of mounted Border Patrol agents.

The United States is aware of the dangerous conditions in Haiti.

Following the arrival of the migrants in Texas, 17 foreign missionaries and one Haitian national were kidnapped in Haiti. As the missionary group visited an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince on Oct. 16, one of Haiti’s most notorious gangs took them hostage, including women and children. The United States has since called for all Americans to leave Haiti, acknowledging that the country’s conditions are not safe. 

It is therefore difficult to comprehend the rapid deportation of black immigrants to Haiti.

Just this week, the United States sent two flights to Haiti with 129 immigrants. Since Nov. 19, there have been 87 flights deporting around 9000 Haitians, a rate much higher than for other countries that have a similar or greater number of asylum seekers in the United States. 

We should continue to watch these issues as they are important to all Americans.

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