FWD.us Statement on Horrid Treatment of Haitians Seeking Asylum

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on the increased expulsion flights of Haitians and other predominantly Black people seeking asylum and inhumane treatment at the border:

“The horrible treatment of Haitians and other predominantly Black people seeking asylum—including the awful violence inflicted upon them by Federal agents as well as the failure to establish humane and working systems for forced migration—is an urgent failure that demands immediate action.

“The cascade of natural disasters and awful political and man-made instability and chaos in Haiti makes it exceedingly clear that deportation flights—which the administration had temporarily halted—should absolutely not have been resumed and should halt immediately.

“Title 42 was wrong in 2020. It is wrong today in 2021—and it is wrong for the Biden administration to appeal the decision declaring Title 42 last week and use this as a pretext for ramping up deportation flights of thousands of Haitians seeking asylum.

“We have repeatedly called on the administration to halt these Title 42 deportation flights which disproportionately harm Haitian and Black asylum seekers. We call on President Biden, again, to immediately halt these flights.

“We also call on the Biden administration to ensure the violence that agents of the United States inflicted upon Black asylum seekers stops immediately.

“It was wrong and awful when men with whips used them to try to stop women from seeking refuge from an airport controlled by Americans in Afghanistan—and was met with national outrage. And it is wrong and awful to see the United States government try to stop primarily Haitian families seeking refugee in America with whips as well—and demands immediate redress.

“It is absolutely critical to understand that the failure of the United States to establish working and humane legal immigration avenues is directly responsible for parts of the situation unfolding over the weekend. We lack any basic refugee system, system for family and employment immigration, or other fundamental legal immigration avenues for so many of the countries from which people are seeking refuge. This deterrence-first approach is wrong and simply does not work. The United States must take a holistic approach to building a system to manage forced migration for the Western Hemisphere.

“So as we call on the administration to move forward immediately to build the humane and working immigration to which they committed during the campaign—an urgent task that will take more than a day—we simultaneously demand they halt these flights and violence we are witnessing today.”

For those looking to learn more about why a deterrence-first approach that pushes immigration enforcement back from America’s physical borders is the wrong approach, we encourage you to read our recent joint report with NIJC, Pushing Back Protection: How Offshoring and Externalization Imperil the Right to Asylum.

To learn more about how and why we need to build actual humane and working legal immigration avenues, we encourage you to view and share this video here.

For those looking to support on-the-ground relief efforts, Haitian Bridge Alliance is currently on the ground helping Haitian asylum seekers in Del Rio, Texas. Donate now to support their efforts and Welcome With Dignity: http://haitianbridge.org/

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