Update, September 22, 6:41 pm.

For an updated report on the horrible, inhuman conditions that asylum-seeking Haitian migrants are forced to live in while awaiting likely deportation, instead of being allowed to assert their legal and human rights to seek asylum in the US, see The Guardian, September 22:


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/22/haiti-migrants-texas-us-immigration

My earlier comment appears below.


The Guardian reports that Vice-President Kamala Harris has issued a strong condemnation of the treatment by her own Biden-Harris administration of the thousands of Haitian migrants camped under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas. In addition to denouncing the roundups of Haitians by horseback-riding border patrol agents as "not the way human beings should be treated", she also said:

"Talk about a country that has experienced so much tragedy, that it's been about natural disasters, the head of state assassinated, and we really have to do a lot to...support some very basic needs that the people of Haiti have."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/21/haitian-migrants-texas-del-rio-bridge-expelled-us-mexico

One of those "very basic needs", one might point out, is the right to seek political asylum as recognized by US and international law,

This is a right that President Biden is now trashing in a way that should make even Donald Trump and Stephen Miller feel gleeful over the speed with which Biden is now rounding up desperate Haitians and flying them back to what Trump called their "shithole country" - without any assurance that they will be able to survive after they are returned to Haiti.

Unless President Biden immediately changes course and starts treating Haitian migrants as human beings instead of animals, and recognizes their internationally accepted human right to apply for asylum, his mass expulsion blitz will be a moral stain on his presidency from which he may never recover.

The lack of humanity that the Biden administration is showing toward Haitians is not just limited to Biden himself, who is more likely driven by cowardice in the face of Republican attempts to whip up hysteria and hatred against brown immigrants through hyping the phoney "border crisis" in order to gain white supremacist votes than by Trump/Miller style personal bigotry. Rather, it is a symptom of a deeper problem in the entire US immigration system, which, throughout its history, has been designed to make it easier for white people to immigrate and harder for everyone else. See: Brookings Institution (March 26):

US immigration policy: A classic, unappreciated example of structural racism

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2021/03/26/us-immigration-policy-a-classic-unappreciated-example-of-structural-racism/

Biden's horrifying violations of Haitian immigrants' basic human rights are only the tip of the iceberg of structural racism that has long been at the foundation of the US immigration system, and which Trump and Miller sought to bring to the surface through dozens, if not hundreds, of actions designed to cut off or drastically reduce both legal and unauthorized immigration from nonwhite areas of the world.

It is disappointing, to say the least, to see President Biden following in Trump's and Miller's footsteps. Let us hope that Biden will listen to Kamala Harris' warning and promptly change course on his dehumanizing, illegal treatment of Haitian asylum-seekers.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

Harvard College A.B.
Harvard Law School LL.B