September 23, 2021
By Julie Gersten
Like many of you, my heart breaks as I watch the events at the Del Rio, Texas border unfold. The deportations and use of horses and whips by border patrol agents against mostly Haitian migrants seeking to claim asylum in the United States is both illegal and cruel. Many of these individuals and families have traveled for years for the opportunity to seek safety at our shores. It is important to note that Haitians, like all asylum seekers, have a legal right to seek asylum in the United States and are not required by law to present at an official port of entry. Instead of processing them, many are being automatically returned to a country in turmoil. Haiti today is experiencing deep political instability, crushing poverty, gang violence and the impact of a major earthquake.
Refugee Action Fund grantee, Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), is in Del Rio right now providing critical assistance and advocating to the Biden administration to stop deportations. HBA is a group of dedicated Haitians and Haitian-Americans working to assist, empower and amplify the voices of Haitian and other Black immigrants—who face the added vulnerability of anti-Black racism on their journey to safety. HBA’s work highlights the importance of frontline community-based groups, who are best positioned to meet the needs of their communities in times of crisis. We encourage you to follow Haitian Bridge Alliance on Twitter and Instagram to learn how you can take action.
Sadly, this is not the first time that Haitians have been deported without due process, and it will not be the last. Refugee Action Fund supports organizations like Haitian Bridge Alliance both to meet the immediate needs of their communities and to advocate for long-term policy change. We need to raise our voices so that the United States upholds the law to protect those fleeing for their lives with no safe place to call home.
Your support for Refugee Action Fund today will help ensure that all people who come to our borders in search of safety are treated with dignity.