Human rights and pro-immigrant groups marched this Thursday in El Paso in solidarity with Haitians and denounced that the “mistreatment” against these immigrants is a reflection of “racism” and the historical “abuses” of the US immigration authorities in the border with Mexico.
With US flags and shouts of “Biden listen, we are in the fight” , dozens of people marched towards the Santa Fe bridge, near the border with Mexico, where community, religious and political leaders were outraged by the expulsion of Haitians newcomers.
In a press conference after the so-called “March for our dignity” , the activists denounced the constant “xenophobia” , “racism” and “police brutality” of officers of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The “aggression” in Del Río against Haitians “is evidence of what we already knew,” that the actions of the immigration authorities are based on “white supremacy and racism,” denounced Fernando García, leader of the Border Network for the Human Rights (BNHR).
He added that the immigration authorities “are out of control and politically motivated” and urged President Joe Biden and Congress to “stop the aggression and change course, if they do not want to be complicit . “
He also rejected the “images of Border Patrol officers on horseback chasing and whipping black Haitians . “
For García, the mistreatment of thousands of immigrants who have arrived in Del Río in recent weeks, mostly Haitians, is “unacceptable and shameful” .
For his part, Pastor Michael E. Grady urged “protecting” Haitians by recalling that in just a few months this community has faced the assassination of its president and the destruction and death due to the earthquake and a tropical storm.
He regretted that in the United States “they have been mistreated for looking for a better place to live . “
The activists also criticized the continued militarization of the border, called for humanitarian immigration relief for Haitians and the removal of Title 42, which allows automatic deportation at the border without allowing immigrants to file an asylum application.
“We have to finish title 42 and we have to finish wanting to eliminate asylum,” said Rubén García, of the Annunciation House organization.
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Verónica Escobar, said in a message read during a press conference that the “abuse and mistreatment” to which Haitians have been subjected is “horrible and unacceptable” and called on President Biden to provide asylum. by reminding you that “it’s legal . “
The activists also urged the Biden government to investigate immigration authorities, who this week have come under fire for harassing Haitian immigrants in Del Rio on horseback.
“We ask Congress to ensure that these horrors on our border never happen again by enacting laws on the responsibility of the Border Patrol to stop abuses,” the activists said.
“It is difficult to see videos of the Border Patrol cornering people because they are poor, because they are different, because they come from afar,” said Rubén García.
In this sense, this Thursday, the US Government announced the temporary suspension of the use of horses to patrol the area of the border with Mexico through which thousands of immigrants have crossed in recent weeks.
The controversy led to the resignation on Thursday of the United States special envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, who resigned in protest at the “inhuman treatment” of Haitians and the fact that they were deported to a country with as many problems as Haiti.
According to the White House, since September 19, “14,101 citizens” of that country have been expelled to Haiti in 12 flights, and another 3,206 Haitians have left the Del Rio camp and are in the custody of the authorities.