The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) strongly denounces the Biden Administration’s racist brutality against Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border and their mass expulsion and deportation, in violation of US law and of their internationally recognized rights to seek asylum. The NLG reiterates and supports the comprehensive statement from the Haiti Action Committee, and offers the following additional history and analysis of the current situation, including specific resources and action items.
A Brief History of U.S. Imperialism in Haiti
The status quo of U.S. immigration policy is violent and white supremacist. The images of U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents on horseback whipping and assaulting Haitian refugees blatantly display the clear historical relationship between slavery and modern immigration policy, policing, and the carceral state. Indeed, the announcement of a tender for contractors to run a detention center for Haitians on the illegally U.S,-occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay, where the U.S. continues to run an unlawful prison camp for detainees kidnapped from Afghanistan during its invasion and occupation of the country, further underlines this connection.
We stand in solidarity with the Haitian people, who led the first successful revolution against African slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and established the first free nation in Latin America. There is a longstanding history of US intervention in Haiti which has been a decisive factor in promoting mass migration due to recurrent political instability and massive inequality. This has been exacerbated by the U.S’s refusal to equitably distribute vaccines, offer adequate natural disaster relief aid, or pay reparations, which are all a part of the long lineage of specifically anti-Black violence inflicted upon Haitians. The current situation in Haiti is particularly intolerable and poses a high risk of serious harm or death to those forced to return.
U.S. imperialism is directly responsible for the devastation in Haiti. Haiti has been forced into an ongoing situation of terror following the 2004 U.S.-supported and -orchestrated coup against democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The UN occupation following the coup caused a massive cholera epidemic and devastated the Haitian economy. Haitian workers were recruited for low-wage labor in Brazil and Chile—and now have been forced out. A series of U.S.-backed dictatorships have been imposed through unreliable, rigged and dubious elections, and death squads have targeted the population. Now, an earthquake has killed 2,200 and left hundreds of thousands of Haitians without shelter.
Current Mass Deportations of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Currently, it is estimated that approximately 14,000 Haitian migrants will be expelled or deported from Del Rio, Texas, only weeks after the Biden Administration extended Temporary Protected Status for Haitian immigrants until 2023. This crackdown is part of a broader pattern of repression and persecution against migrants at the US-Mexico border and within Mexico that is driven by complicity between US and Mexican authorities, and by the use of the COVID pandemic as a pretext for illegal abuses through the activation of Title 42 as a mechanism for mass expulsions without due process or respect for the right to seek asylum.
These inhumane mass deportations will endanger the lives of thousands of migrants and highlights the anti-Black, violent, white supremacist political objectives of U.S. empire. We stand in solidarity with Haitian immigrants and undocumented persons, especially Black migrants, in demanding an immediate end to the brutal mistreatment, and mass expulsions and deportations of Haitians, and for Title 42 to be rescinded.
Biden and leading members of his administration and allies in Congress spent years rightly criticizing the immigration policies of the Trump Administration, and then immediately turned around and maintained many of their most abusive dimensions. The Biden Administration promised to do better, and has dramatically failed in this endeavor. We urge you to join the many calls to hold the Biden Administration and its agents fully accountable for these abuses against Haitians and to immediately halt these mass expulsions and deportations.
The U.S. is now once again imposing a policy of mass deportation, incarceration and abuse on Haitian refugees after its devastation of their homeland forced Haitians to migrate for safety. We demand justice and accountability for the Haitian refugees at the border as well as for the nation and people of Haiti for years of U.S. imperial abuse and destruction.
Resources and Action Items
Please look to the following resources to offer or receive resources and support, and to demand an end to these deportations:
- Haiti Subcommittee of the NLG International Committee
- NLG/Haiti Action Committee Report: Report: The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration: Comprehensive action kit on Haitian deportations
- Haiti Action Committee: Demand Biden stop deporting Haitian refugees
- Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
- Haiti Response Coalition
- Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
- Haitian Bridge Alliance
- UndocuBlack Network
NLG International Committee