• Press Release

Biden Administration Must Hold CBP Officers Accountable and Restore Access to Asylum for All Haitian Migrants

September 24, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 1: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Mayorkas discussed the Biden administration's plans for overhauling immigration policy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
In response to the mass deportation of Haitian migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and horrific reports of Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inhumane treatment against Black asylum-seekers, Paul O’Brien, Executive Director at Amnesty International USA said:

“The horrific conduct by CBP in Del Rio, Texas, including officers charging into crowds of Haitian asylum-seekers on horseback, violently dispersing them, taunting them, and forcing them away from safety, is reprehensible and underscores a deeper problem of systemic and racist treatment against Haitian and other Black migrants in the U.S. and at the southern border.

“Already, thousands of Haitians have been deported under Title 42, despite Haiti still reeling from sociopolitical instability – including the assassination of its president and increase in gang violence – and natural disasters in the past few months alone. Federal courts have already blocked expulsions of families under Title 42, and human rights, faith, and public health groups have called for an immediate end to the expulsions. These mass deportations demonstrate that the government is not committed to upholding the rights and wellbeing of the asylum-seekers they are sending back to danger.

“Though reports indicate that some Haitian children and families have been allowed to enter the U.S., the mass expulsions continue. Amnesty International USA reiterates its calls on the government to allow access to all asylum-seekers at the U.S. border, regardless of race, ethnicity, age or gender. The U.S. government has a moral and legal responsibility to welcome Haitians and all people who have fled their homes in search of safety, and the Biden Administration can and must do better.”

Amnesty International USA is calling on the Biden Administration to:

  • Stop all deportation flights and expulsions under Title 42 that place Haitian and other Black asylum-seekers in danger if returned to their countries of origin.
  • Immediately grant humanitarian parole to Haitian and other Black asylum-seekers at the southern border and restore access to asylum for all asylum-seekers – not just families and children – in accordance with international law and regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality.
  • End the practice of interdictions, which place Haitian and other asylum-seekers at sea at harm if returned to their homes or held in immigration detention.
  • Launch a swift and full independent investigation into the racist conduct and other abuses by CBP officers against Black asylum-seekers and refugees in Del Rio, TX.
  • End the use of arbitrary, mass immigration detention, including phasing out Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracts with private prison companies and county jails; and incorporating a presumption of liberty in all custody decisions such that asylum-seekers and immigrants are allowed to live in the U.S. as they navigate the immigration process, with the support of sponsors and community-based nonprofit programs if they need it.

Contact: Gabby Arias, [email protected]