Editor’s Note: On Tuesday afternoon, Latino Rebels received the following media release from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Advancement Project:
September 21, 2021 — Today, a group of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women and the National Action Network, join the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Advancement Project in signing an open letter calling on President Joseph Biden to take decisive, humanitarian action at the U.S.-Mexico border. Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback terrorizing Black migrants as they seek asylum have shocked and horrified the world.
Black leaders are calling on the Biden administration to launch an investigation into the acts of Border Patrol agents in Del Rio and cease and desist the treatment of Black immigrants such as was done on September 21; stop the deportations and immediately grant humanitarian parole to the thousands of Black asylum seekers and process their asylum claims without further delay. The leaders also call on the Biden administration to renew its commitment to racial equity by extending that policy to those Black immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S.
Quotes from leaders:
“This Administration elevated the pursuit of racial equity as a commitment and a moral imperative. The Department of Homeland Security is not exempt from this holistic review or this moral imperative. So it is frankly disturbing and deeply concerning that we are not seeing the work and the fundamental shifts required to comply with the president’s racial equity executive order.” — Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
“The images of the treatment of Black people seeking refuge at the hands of Border Patrol officers are disgraceful and traumatizing, pointing to an intensified crisis in our country. The Biden Administration’s first response to the thousands of Haitian migrants was immediate deportation instead of providing an opportunity to seek asylum. As a nation that values freedom and opportunity, we should be welcoming Black migrants rather than brutalizing them. We urge the Administration to investigate the action of Border Patrol and treat the crisis as it should be, recognizing the humanity of our Haitian sisters and brothers and giving them the opportunity other migrants receive to seek asylum.” — Judith Brown Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project
“Seeing the images of our Haitian brothers and sisters being treated inhumanely by U. S. Border Police triggers me as a Black woman, who is a descendent of slaves. These are human beings seeking asylum. The United States cannot continue telling people who are fleeing life-threatening conditions to not come. That policy is cruel and denies the most vulnerable people of their humanity. I urge the Biden-Harris Administration to reverse course and immediately end the rapid deportation of the Haitian refugees by granting them asylum.” — Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of The Black Women’s Roundtable
“Without the contributions of the Haitian community, this nation as we know it wouldn’t exist. We should be ashamed that we are watching firsthand refugees violently rounded up and sent back to an unstable government that is unable to protect them. It is our responsibility, no matter our political ideologies on immigration, that we stand together and offer assistance for Haiti, the first Black republic in the Western Hemisphere, and its people.” — Reverend Al Sharpton
“Border patrol agents using makeshift whips to threaten and intimidate human beings while riding on horseback calls to mind the brutal history of chattel slavery, the worst chapter in our nation’s history. This abhorrent behavior is a disgrace to the nation and the world. We cannot be silent while our brothers and sisters are treated in such a way as they flee multiple crises. We owe Haitian asylum seekers respect, not disdain, especially while they are at their most vulnerable.” — Damon Hewitt, President and Executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law