Congressional Black Caucus members rail against treatment of Haitians at US-Mexico border

Members say Haitians are being treated differently because they are Black

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 22 September 2021 21:43
US-Mexicos migration crisis: Haitian migrants' tortuous journey ends in Mexico limbo

Democratic members of Congress criticised the treatment of Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border by border patrol agents chasing them on horseback.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Caribbean Caucus, the Haiti Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus all spoke in front of the Capitol during a rainstorm and universally denounced shocking images of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents riding on horseback, with some showing agents holding horse reins the way a whip would be held.

Rep Joyce Beatty of Ohio, chairwoman of the CBC, said eight members of the caucus met with the White House to confront the administration about the treatment of migrants and the fact that as many as 12,000 to 14,000 Haitian migrants are gathered at the US-Mexico border.

Ms Beatty said that she and the caucus asked that all officers seen riding horses and using their reins to chase Haitians to be suspended and terminated and asked for a halt to the procedure.

“While we respect using horses along the border for safety, for patrolling, we have never witnessed people who look like me to be treated the way those Haitians were,” she said, asking for a full investigation into the matter.

Rep Maxine Waters of California said that the reason why Haitian migrants were being mistreated was because of their race.

“We must express our outrage, we must demand that whatever that unit is, it has to be suspended,” she said. Ms Waters said she has not communicated with the White House but said she planned to be “very tough” on the Biden administration.

Ms Waters also questioned why the Biden administration was continuing the use of a policy that the Trump administration implemented to restrict migration.

“This is a Trump policy that does not allow them to apply for their citizenship,” she said. “Why are we continuing that policy? Why are we doing deportations like that.”

She also contrasted it with the way aid workers who helped the United States during its military campaign in Afghanistan who are now migrating to the United States are being treated.

“We now that even now that trying to honour the work the Afghans did in helping the United States, that they’re bringing them in by the hundreds and they’re giving them places to stay, and I’m not opposed to that,” she said. “But I am opposed to the way the Haitians are being treated and not allowed to apply for, you know, their citizenship.”

Rep Veronica Escobar of Texas, who represents a district on the US-Mexico border called for Congress to pass legislation she supported to increase transparency within the Department of Homeland Security as well as legislation that would reform the processing of migrants.

“We do not have to surrender our humanity at any point, anytime, anywhere,” she said.

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