Truthout - October 2, 2021
Notwithstanding President Joe Biden’s promise to pursue a more humane immigration policy than his predecessor, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been illegally expelling Haitian migrants, with the Border Patrol cracking whips and herding them like cattle. When U.S. authorities put them on a plane to Haiti, “they chained us like animals — our hands, feet and waist — and once we arrived, they unchained us so journalists wouldn’t see us,” one Haitian man told John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight.”
When confronted about his administration’s use of horse reins as whips to menace Black migrants at the southern U.S. border, Biden said it was “horrible … to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous.”
Biden declared, “I promise you, those people will pay,” and noted that a federal investigation is underway. “There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous; it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”
Biden’s denial is reminiscent of that of Barack Obama, who reacted to the 6,700-page report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that documented a widespread program of U.S. torture by saying that torture “is contrary to who we are.”
But like torture, vicious beatings of Black people have been sanctioned by the state throughout U.S. history. “The images of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents on horseback whipping and assaulting Haitian refugees blatantly display the clear historical relationship between slavery and modern immigration policy, policing, and the carceral state,” the National Lawyers Guild said in a statement.
The Biden administration has expelled more than 4,600 Haitian migrants from the United States since September 19, conducting 43 flights from Del Rio, Texas, to Haiti, which is still reeling from its recent devastating earthquake, flooding from a tropical storm and a presidential assassination. Most of the people in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince have no access to drinking water, electricity or garbage collection. ...
Read full report at Truthout