But to some experts and advocates, the Biden administration’s treatment of Haidian immigrants is not surprising.
“When black asylum seekers or black immigrants face state power, be it local police on the street or (federal agents) … they face violent levels at various levels that we see happen to immigrants. They are not black,” said the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Nana Zamphi said.
For the rights of immigrants In recent weeks, federal government policies toward Haitian immigrants reinforce what supporters like Zamfi have long known: Haitians and other black immigrants are rented differently under the U.S. immigration system than non-black immigrants.
The Biden administration has admitted some Haitians but deported many others
There are many reasons why thousands of Haitians even make dangerous journeys to the United States.
The combined effects of that situation have led many Haitians to leave their homes in search of a better life.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas cites three reasons for leaving immigrants in the United States instead of expelling them: they are determined to be vulnerable, such as someone pregnant; Weak operation capacity; Or the person may face torture if sent back. Those immigrants still have to complete the immigration process, where an immigration judge will ultimately determine whether they can stay in the United States or be deported.
“The United States was able to evacuate 10 to 15,000 people (From the bottom of the Del Rio Bridge) in less than a week, “said Gerlin Joseph, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, an advocacy organization.” So if they have the desire to protect, they can do it. “
He added that the United States considers Haiti safe enough for migrants to return.
“We continue to study the situation in Haiti and, despite the tragic and devastating earthquake, we are determined that Haiti is actually capable of accepting people,” Mayorcas said at a White House press briefing on September 2. “And we are working with Haiti and humanitarian relief agencies to ensure that their return is as safe and humane as possible.”
The goal of the recent policy is to prevent Haitians from entering the United States
The U.S. government has implemented a number of policies in recent years to prevent immigrants from crossing the southern border. Many of these affect Haitians unequally.
Haitians and other black immigrants, including Jamaica, Liberia and Cameroon, also face inconsistent contacts with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, Zamphi said.
“At the end of the day, it’s based on racial profiling – for the same reason we see African Americans being unequally arrested, charged with higher crimes, sentenced for long periods of time,” Giamfi said. “Everything applies to black immigrants.”
CNN reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
The US government’s treatment of Haitians is not new
The U.S. government has been discriminating against Haitian immigrants for decades, extending into both Republican and Democratic administrations, experts say.
Regin Jackson, an assistant professor of sociology and African studies at Agnes Scott College, explained that Haitians began coming to the United States after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 155, which abolished nationality-based quotas. Numbers 0 and these numbers continue to grow in the 80s.
The way Haitians were treated, Jackson said, made a difference between refugees fleeing political persecution and generally eligible for asylum, and economic immigrants who are looking for better opportunities and generally ineligible for asylum.
“The term does not acknowledge how the political and economic situation – the root cause that leads to immigration – is intertwined,” Jackson said. “We still see the legacy of that difference today.”
Jackson compared the treatment of Haitian immigrants to the way Caribbean immigrants were treated with another group: Cubans.
“It’s a difference about nationality, but it’s also a policy that was racially inspired,” Jackson added.
The fear that Haitian migrants may have been infected with HIV / AIDS was also used as an argument for their detention.
Nevertheless, Haitians continue to come to the United States
Advocates say they have heard from Haitian immigrants that they want to live in a country where human rights are respected and where they and their children can be safe.
Although the reality is often different for them.
“As Americans, we sell a picture to the world that is not necessarily true,” Joseph said with the Haitian Bridge Alliance.
“People believe that the freedom and liberty they will be granted when they come to the United States as asylum seekers, refugees or in need of protection, will only be dealt with by violence and discrimination and black racism.”
Nonetheless, and what advocates say is a pattern of discriminatory treatment by the U.S. immigration authorities, many Haitians continue to travel to the United States.
CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this story.