•   
  •   
  •   

US Haitians see history of racist policies in migrant treatment

09:15  24 september  2021
09:15  24 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes

  Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes The growing group of Haitians massing under a bridge in Texas under increasingly squalid conditions is worsening President Biden's political headache over immigration. Images of thousands of people camping under a highway overpass have re-opened a favorite Republican line of attack against Biden, with Texas GOP officials blaming the president for the rise in Haitian migration.The Hill on Thursday reported that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plane carrying 86 Haitians landed Wednesday in the ravaged Caribbean nation, which saw its president assassinated in July and suffered a devastating earthquake in August.

The images — men on horseback, appearing to use reins as whips to corral Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico — provoked an outcry. But to many Haitians and Black Americans, they're merely confirmation of a deeply held belief:

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2021, file photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas. 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.( AP Photo/Felix Marquez, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2021, file photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas. 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.( AP Photo/Felix Marquez, File)

U.S. immigration policies, they say, are and have long been anti-Black.

US nears plan for widescale expulsions of Haitian migrants

  US nears plan for widescale expulsions of Haitian migrants DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The Biden administration worked Saturday on plans to send many of the thousands of Haitian immigrants who have gathered in a Texas border city back to their Caribbean homeland, in a swift response to the huge influx of people who suddenly crossed the border from Mexico and congregated under and around a bridge. © Provided by Associated Press Haiti migrants waiting in Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña to get access to the United States, cross the Rio Grande toward Ciudad Acuña to get supplies, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

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.

They point to immigration data that indicate Haitians and other Black migrants routinely face structural barriers to legally entering or living in the U.S. — and often endure disproportionate contact with the American criminal legal system that can jeopardize their residency or hasten their deportation.

Haitians, in particular, are granted asylum at the lowest rate of any nationality with consistently high numbers of asylum seekers, according to an analysis of data by The Associated Press.

Haitian deportees start over in country they don’t recognize

  Haitian deportees start over in country they don’t recognize PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Claile Bazile doesn’t know where she and her 2-year-old son will stay once they leave the hotel where officials temporarily set aside rooms for some of the hundreds of people streaming into Haiti after being expelled from the U.S. in the past couple of days. The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Haiti last month and killed more than 2,200 people also destroyed her family’s home. “They’re out on theThe 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Haiti last month and killed more than 2,200 people also destroyed her family’s home.

“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.

“Now through the videos capturing the abuses on Haitians at the border, the world has now seen for itself that all migrants seeking a better tomorrow aren’t treated equal when skin color is involved.”

Between 2018 and 2021, only 4.62% of Haitian asylum seekers were granted asylum by the U.S. — the lowest rate among 84 groups for whom data is available. Asylum seekers from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, have a similarly low rate of 5.11%.

By comparison, four of the five top U.S. asylum applicants are from Latin American countries — El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Their acceptance rates range from 6.21% to 14.12%.

Deported Haitians try to rush back into plane amid anger

  Deported Haitians try to rush back into plane amid anger PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Dozens of migrants upset about being deported to Haiti from the U.S. clashed with authorities while trying to rush back into a plane that landed Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince. A security guard closed the plane door just in time as some deportees began throwing shoes at the plane, yelling, “This is abuse!" and “How is this possible?!” The group that included men and women had disembarked from the second of four flights that arrived on Tuesday, with some temporarily losing their belongings in the scuffle as police arrived. Among those trying to get back on the plane was Maxine Orélien, who blamed Haiti's prime minister for the situation.

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

Phillips, whose organization is on the ground helping Haitians in Texas, says this dates back to the early 1800s, when Haitian slaves revolted and gained independence from France, and has continued through decades of U.S. intervention and occupation in the small island nation.

She said the U.S., threatened by the possibility of its own slaves revolting, both assisted the French and didn’t recognize Haitian independence for nearly six decades. The U.S. also loaned money to Haiti so that it could, in essence, buy its independence, collecting interest payments while plunging the country into poverty for decades.

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2021, file photo, migrants, many from Haiti, are seen wading between the U.S. and Mexico on the Rio Grande, in Del Rio, Texas. 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.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2021, file photo, migrants, many from Haiti, are seen wading between the U.S. and Mexico on the Rio Grande, in Del Rio, Texas. 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.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

“This mentality and stigma against Haitians stems all the way back to that period,” Phillips said.

WhatsApp, social posts helped lead Haitian migrants to Texas

  WhatsApp, social posts helped lead Haitian migrants to Texas DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — For the final leg of his journey from Chile to the United States, Haitian migrant Fabricio Jean followed detailed instructions sent to him via WhatsApp from his brother in New Jersey who had recently taken the route to the Texas border. His brother wired him money for the trip, then meticulously mapped it out, warning him of areas heavy with Mexican immigration officials. “You will need about 20,000 pesos (about $1,000 U.S. dollars) for the buses. You need to take this bus to this location and then take another bus,” recounted Jean, who spoke to The Associated Press after reaching the border town of Del Rio.

The U.S. violently occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and backed former Haiti dictator Francois Duvalier, whose oppressive regime resulted in 30,000 deaths and drove thousands to flee.

While the U.S. long treated Cubans with compassion — largely because of opposition to the Communist regime — the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton took a hard line on Haitians. And the Trump administration ended Temporary Protected Status for several nationalities, including Haitians and Central Americans.

FILE - In the Sept. 22, 2021, file photo, migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas with their belongings to return to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico to avoid possible deportation from the U.S. 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.(AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In the Sept. 22, 2021, file photo, migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas with their belongings to return to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico to avoid possible deportation from the U.S. 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.(AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

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

When they manage to enter the U.S., Black immigrants say they contend with systemic racism in the American criminal legal system and brutality of U.S. policing that has been endemic for people from across the African diaspora.

Biden administration scrambles to contain fallout from another border crisis

  Biden administration scrambles to contain fallout from another border crisis The Biden administration is ramping up deportation flights of migrants to as many as seven a day and talking to Brazil and Chile to possibly repatriate Haitians who previously resided in those countries as they scramble to contain the fallout amid bipartisan criticism. © Rosa Flores/CNN A bus of mostly Haitian migrants were dropped off at this NGO in Del Rio, Texas. But even as the Department of Homeland Security tries to draw a hard line, more than 1,000 migrants who had been under the Del Rio International Bridge have been allowed into the US, according to an area organization that has helped those released.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a national racial justice and immigrant rights group, largely defines Black immigrants as people from nations in Africa and the Caribbean. By that definition, AP's analysis of 2019 Department of Homeland Security data found 66% Black immigrants deported from the U.S were removed based on criminal grounds, as opposed to 43% of all immigrants.

Nana Gyamfi, BAJI's executive director, said crimes of moral turpitude, including petty theft or turnstile jumping, have been used as partial justification for denying Black immigrants legal status. “We have people getting deported because of train fare,” she 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.

Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the coalition proposed sweeping federal legislation known as the BREATHE Act, which includes calls to end immigration detention, stop deportations due to contact with the criminal legal system, and ensure due process within the immigration court system.

“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.

'Amistad' binds Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña amid migrant crisis

  'Amistad' binds Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña amid migrant crisis DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — Amistad — Spanish for friendship — binds the sister cities of Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. Each year, the border communities that sit across the Rio Grande from one another come together to celebrate that bond during the Fiesta de la Amistad. Leaders from both sides of the border meet at the festival and share abrazos, or hugs, to commemorate their common history and an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to build the Amistad Dam and Reservoir in the 1960s. The relationship shows in many ways, with workers and families typically going back-and-forth between Acuña and Del Rio daily.

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2021, file photo, migrants, many from Haiti, are seen in a pen area waiting to load onto buses near the Rio Grande, in Del Rio, Texas. 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.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez): Border Haitian Racism © Provided by Associated Press Border Haitian Racism

The camp is “a catastrophic and human disgrace,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said after an hourlong tour with several Black American leaders in Del Rio. “We will keep coming back, as long as is necessary.”

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2021, file photo, a migrant man is seen in an encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge where migrants, many from Haiti, have been staying after crossing the Rio Grande, in Del Rio, Texas. 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. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez): Border Haitian Racism © Provided by Associated Press Border Haitian Racism

At the border and in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where hundreds had already been sent on flights from the U.S., Haitians said there was no doubt that race played a major part in their mistreatment.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2021, file photo, a National Guardsman stands at a gate along a border fence as a bus used to transport migrants, mostly from Haiti, departs from a makeshift camp that has developed at the International Bridge, in Del Rio, Texas. 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. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2021, file photo, a National Guardsman stands at a gate along a border fence as a bus used to transport migrants, mostly from Haiti, departs from a makeshift camp that has developed at the International Bridge, in Del Rio, Texas. 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. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

“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.

Claude Magnolie, a Haitian citizen removed from the U.S. this week, said he didn’t see Border Patrol agents treating migrants of other nationalities the way he and others were treated: “This is discrimination, that is how I call it, they are treating us very badly."

Krystina Francois, left, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, are seen through windows streaked from a recent rain, as they work together outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) © Provided by Associated Press Krystina Francois, left, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, are seen through windows streaked from a recent rain, as they work together outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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.

'We made it': Haitians learn from experience to reach Mexico's Tijuana

  'We made it': Haitians learn from experience to reach Mexico's Tijuana 'We made it': Haitians learn from experience to reach Mexico's TijuanaTIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - While thousands of Haitians were detained, deported or expelled from a camp on Mexico's frontier with Texas last week, many others traveled west to the border city of Tijuana, hoping to avoid a crackdown aimed at stemming the rising tide of migrants.

“My family is under that bridge,” Menes said, referring to a cousin, his wife and their newborn who recently met up in a small border town in Texas. It took Menes’s cousin two months to make the trek from Chile, where he had been living with his brothers for three years to escape Haiti’s political tumult, violence and devastation.

Krystina Francois, left, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, pose for a picture in front of a mural at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) © Provided by Associated Press Krystina Francois, left, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, pose for a picture in front of a mural at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“It made me sick,” Menes said. “This didn’t happen with unaccompanied minors. You didn’t see people riding on horseback, basically herding people like they were cattle, like they were animals.”

Menes’ outrage has only grown, as have her fears for her family. When she overheard her mother on the phone with family members this week, Menes said she wanted nothing more than to tell them to return to Chile.

“We’ve actually tried to discourage our families,” she said. “People are looking for a better life. And we try to kind of ground our families: Do you know what it means to be Black in America?”

Francesca Menes, left, and Krystina Francois, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, work together outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) © Provided by Associated Press Francesca Menes, left, and Krystina Francois, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, work together outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

____

AP staffers Maria Verza in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Fernando Gonzalez in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jasen Lo in Chicago and Elliot Spagat from San Diego contributed. Morrison reported from New York City. Galvan reported from Phoenix. Both are members of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. Follow Galvan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/astridgalvan. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.

Krystina Francois, right, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, walk past the Mache Ayisyen, or Haitian Market, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) © Provided by Associated Press Krystina Francois, right, and Francesca Menes, children of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and co-founders of the Black Collective, walk past the Mache Ayisyen, or Haitian Market, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami. Menes and Francois, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Krystina Francois, a child of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and one of the co-founders along with Francesca Menes of the Black Collective, participates in a video call as she works outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Francois and Menes, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) © Provided by Associated Press Krystina Francois, a child of Haitian immigrants to the U.S. and one of the co-founders along with Francesca Menes of the Black Collective, participates in a video call as she works outside a Starbucks, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Miami Shores, Fla. Francois and Menes, whose advocacy organization focuses on the political needs and economic empowerment of Black people across the African diaspora, have called for the Biden administration to immediately suspend plans to remove migrants via planes bound for Haiti. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

'We made it': Haitians learn from experience to reach Mexico's Tijuana .
'We made it': Haitians learn from experience to reach Mexico's TijuanaTIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - While thousands of Haitians were detained, deported or expelled from a camp on Mexico's frontier with Texas last week, many others traveled west to the border city of Tijuana, hoping to avoid a crackdown aimed at stemming the rising tide of migrants.

usr: 1
This is interesting!