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Cruel Response to Haitian Migrants At Border Must Be Condemned And Humane Solutions Implemented Immediately

The following is a statement from Nicole Melaku, executive director of National Partnership For New Americans (NPNA), regarding the U.S. response to Haitian migrants at the border: 

“The cruel treatment of Haitian migrants at the U.S. border is unacceptable and must be immediately condemned. The Biden administration must fully investigate U.S. Customs and Border Protection and hold them accountable for their inhumane actions against the Haitian migrants at our border. The use of whips and other inhumane means of responding to their desperation is a despicable result of both racism and our broken immigration system, and the officers involved must be penalized. 

Haitian migrants at Del Rio are refugees in need, and yet they are being treated as less than human. This treatment is rooted in racism and a long history of discrimination against Haitians in our immigration laws and is simply unacceptable. Haitian children and families are at our borders because they were pushed away by a series of crises, including the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, continuing food insecurity, the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace, as well as decades of the United States contributing to the political and economic reasons why Haitians must leave their country. 

President Biden and Sec. Mayorkas must take immediate and aggressive action to put a stop to the mistreatment of Haitian migrants, provide urgent humanitarian relief, and stop deportation flights to Haiti. Haitians should be granted humanitarian parole so they can be transferred to safer conditions, and the U.S. must provide assistance in securing food, water,  safe shelter, and health care to those camped out in Del Rio simply awaiting a chance to request protection. The United States should also address root causes for migration in Haiti and create safe paths for migration and family unity, including but not limited to reestablishing the Haitian Family Reunification Program. The administration should also immediately break with the previous administration and end its continued use of Title 42, which prevents Haitians and other migrants from seeking asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. These actions are necessary to preserve America’s standing as a nation of refuge.”