Haitians see history of racist policies in migrant treatment
Sep 24, 2021 1 min, 51 secs
The images — men on horseback, appearing to use reins as whips to corral Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the U.S.

But to many Haitians and Black Americans, they’re merely confirmation of a deeply held belief:.

The Border Patrol’s treatment of Haitian migrants, they say, is just the latest in a long history of discriminatory U.S.

policies and of indignities faced by Black people, sparking new anger among Haitian Americans, Black immigrant advocates and civil rights leaders.

“Black immigrants live at the intersection of race and immigration and, for too long, have fallen through the cracks of red tape and legal loopholes,” said Yoliswa Cele of the UndocuBlack Network, a national advocacy organization for currently and formerly undocumented Black people.

Between 2018 and 2021, only 4.62% of Haitian asylum seekers were granted asylum by the U.S.

Nicole Phillips, legal director for the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said racism has long driven the American government’s treatment of Haitian immigrants.

has passed immigration legislation that excluded Black immigrants and Haitians, and promoted policies that unfairly jeopardized their legal status in the country, advocates said.

Leaders within the Movement for Black Lives, a national coalition of Black-led racial justice and civil rights organizations, have pointed to the treatment of Haitians at the border as justification for their broader demands for defunding law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

“A lot of times in the immigration debate, Black people are erased and Black immigrants are erased from the conversation,” said Amara Enyia, a policy researcher for the Movement for Black Lives.

Ahead of a Thursday tour of the migrant encampment in Texas, civil rights leaders called for an investigation into the treatment of Black migrants at the border and for an immediate end to the deportation of Black asylum seekers.

“They are grabbing people, they bother us, especially Haitians because they identify us by skin,” said Jean Claudio Charles who, with his wife and year-old son, had been staying in an encampment on the Mexico side near Texas out of fear of arrest and deportation to Haiti.

And in Miami, immigrant rights advocate Francesca Menes couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched images of the asylum seekers being corralled by men on horseback.

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