ACLU Condemns Biden Administration's Deplorable Treatment of Haitian Migrants

 inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers at the border
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WASHINGTON — In light of the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers at the border, the American Civil Liberties Union is reiterating its call for the Biden administration to immediately end Title 42 and overhaul U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Since March 2020, the U.S. government has turned people away at the border using Title 42, a purported public health policy, as a tool to justify mass deportations of people seeking asylum and other migrants.

The horrifying videos of U.S. horse-mounted Border Patrol agents charging toward Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas is the latest in a line of human rights abuses resulting from the Biden administration’s continuation of Trump-era border policies and the failure to address CBP’s culture of abuse.

“The Biden administration is writing its own chapter in the United States’ shameful history of racial discrimination toward Haitians and other Black immigrants,” said Jonathan Blazer, ACLU director of border strategies. “The administration made commitments to make the U.S. asylum system more humane, yet it's doing the exact opposite, and continues to insist that the border is closed to people seeking asylum — just as the Trump administration did.”

The ACLU demands that the Biden administration:

  • End Title 42;
  • Overhaul CBP, including its use of force policies, hiring and disciplinary practices, and complaints mechanism;
  • Support shifts in funding away from the Border Patrol and toward a humanitarian response to migration; and
  • Immediately halt deportations to Haiti.

The ACLU and its Texas and Washington, D.C. affiliates are involved in ongoing litigation against the administration for its unlawful misuse of Title 42. On Sept. 16, a federal judge blocked the Biden administration from using Title 42 to expel families. The ruling takes effect Sept. 30, but the Biden administration is appealing the ruling and requesting that the ruling not take effect on the 30th.

The Department of Homeland Security is now carrying out its announced plans to escalate rapid deportation flights to Haiti despite the knowledge that it is sending people to a country reeling from extreme political unrest, including the recent assassination of its president, and devastating impacts from recent natural disasters that destroyed communities.

“Rather than appeal the ruling, the administration should instead acknowledge that the court was correct to find Title 42 unlawful, and end the program entirely,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

The ACLU of Texas is also seeking immediate action and a full and independent investigation into Border Patrol agents’ use of horses, raised lariats (also referred to as “whips” in public reporting), and xenophobic and derogatory language to menace and intimidate migrants.

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