Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement in response to the violent, mass deportation of Haitian asylum seekers by the U.S. Border Patrol:
“What we’re seeing along the southern border is nothing short of a humanitarian disaster. As thousands of asylum seekers from Haiti and elsewhere wait out their asylum proceedings under unlivable conditions, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has taken the extraordinary step of dispatching the National Guard and exceeding his authority to further militarize our borders. The images of U.S. Border Patrol agents riding horseback, whipping and corralling Black asylum seekers, invoke a long and disturbing history of slavery — one whose legacy lives on through unconscionable acts of racial violence just like this. President Biden cannot “restore the soul of America” as he allows his agencies to replicate the original sin which plagues that damaged soul.
“The Haitian refugee crisis is not just an issue of natural disasters; it’s an issue of years of man-made political and economic turmoil funded, supported, and perpetuated by American lawmakers. The swift response to support the Afghan people fleeing the Taliban serves as undeniable proof that the U.S. can devote the energy and resources to treating asylum seekers with dignity, respect, and humanity. In this instance, however, it has deliberately chosen not to.
“We stand with organizations like Black Alliance for Just Immigration the Haitian Bridge Alliance, and Black-led grassroots groups in Texas who are providing direct support to those on the ground in Del Rio. And we join in their demands that President Biden immediately stop deportations and follow through on the established process for protecting refugees. Black voters did not risk our lives in order to put President Biden in power only to see him continue the racist immigration and asylum policies of his predecessor.”