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Women’s Refugee Commission Urges Biden Administration to End Deportation Flights to Haiti and Condemns Racist Mistreatment of Haitians Seeking Protection

Yesterday, news reports showed images and video of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback forcibly dispersing and chasing Haitian migrants using racist language and swinging lariats at them in Del Rio, Texas. On September 18, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will accelerate removal flights to Haiti and other countries in the hemisphere and continue expelling the majority of people seeking asylum under its mass expulsion policy known as Title 42, continued from the Trump administration.

In response, Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program, released the following statement:

“Women’s Refugee Commission is horrified over the treatment of Haitian migrants at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol officers. Moreover, the administration’s decision to increase removal flights full of families, including children, back to Haiti continues its morally indefensible and unlawful deterrence tactics and denies those legally seeking safety any meaningful chance to do so. That the Biden administration appealed last week’s federal court decision to block its expulsions of families, rather than comply and finally uphold U.S. and international asylum and immigration laws, demonstrates how far the administration will go to continue the Trump administration’s legacy to end asylum.

“There is no question that accountability, oversight, and fundamental respect for human rights must form a part of the government’s approach to those migrating and seeking protection, and that these critical elements are beyond overdue in light of yesterday’s disturbing reports and the years of documented harm and violence. It is reprehensible that Haitian families seeking safety amidst political violence and a devastating earthquake at home are met with anti-Black violence and no real opportunity to seek protection. We urge the Biden administration and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to once and for all ensure Haitian migrants can exercise their legal right to seek protection, including by restoring access to asylum at ports of entry, and to respond to those seeking safety with dignity.”