Black Lives Matter Condemns the Treatment of Haitian Migrants at the U.S./Mexico Border

Black Lives Matter condemns the racist, anti-Black treatment of Haitians and all Black people seeking asylum in the United States. Rather than reversing Trump’s policies targeting Haitians for deportation, the Biden Administration continues to support and reinforce long-standing oppressive policies against Black immigrants and asylees.

Over the weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents on horseback whipped and brutalized Haitian asylum-seekers, forcing them away from crossing into the United States. CBP is rooted in the same history of slave catching as other policing agencies. This despicable origin is starkly illustrated in the video and photo images of this weekend’s brutality. Once again, we are reminded that policing and immigration are inextricably linked and that migration is rife with anti-Blackness.

The United States is directly responsible for creating conditions in Haiti that have forced people to flee their homes. From the time of the Haitian Revolution, won in 1804, up until today, U.S. activities in Haiti — including the coup it orchestrated with Canada and France in 2004 — have destabilized the island nation. The resulting poverty, devastation and infrastructure crisis set the stage for intolerable conditions following environmental disaster. The United States has offered asylum to tens of thousands of Afghans after destabilizing Afghanistan for decades. The difference in treatment of Black migrants is loathsome. The United States has created tumultuous conditions in Haiti, continues to refuse to offer refuge, and is now treating these people as though they are enslaved property, violating their bodies and their personhood. This chapter of violations against Haitians is among the most shameful expressions of anti-Blackness against migrants advanced by the United States government.

Violent attacks against Haitians and other Black asylum-seekers have been ongoing for years as thousands of migrants are forced to wait in refugee camps at the U.S./Mexico border, largely because of the extraneous process of migration to the US. We understand that the attacks on our Haitian family at the border are not separate from a larger problem in the imperial core; the West will continue to punish Haitians for being the only people to liberate themselves from the shackles of enslavement.

Black Lives Matter joins Black Alliance for Just Immigration and other Black migrant-led social justice groups in calling on the Biden Administration to grant humanitarian parole to Black asylum-seekers at the U.S./Mexico border and stop all expulsions, deportations, and physical attacks. Biden previously promised to end Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, stating that it “goes against everything we stand for.” Where is this commitment for Black Haitian migrants? The Biden Administration is directly responsible for Haitians being whipped and corralled like cattle. We call for the end of the racist Title 42 order and the metering system, both of which disproportionately impact Black asylum-seekers. Moreover, we call for an overarching immigration and foreign policy that affirms Black humanity, ends U.S. imperialism, and provides restitution to the people harmed by historic and current U.S. foreign policy.