WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Hayes (CT-05) releases a statement on the mistreatment of Haitian migrants at the border:
“The images we have all seen of Haitians at the border, suffering abuse at the hands of U.S. officials, are unconscionable. In the wake of this migrant crisis, I was shocked and horrified to see the images of the interaction between U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Haitians. I am equally disappointed and dissatisfied with the response from the Biden Administration thus far.
“These actions resemble an outdated and cruel history of treatment towards Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities, and it has no place in our society.
"I have been working to get answers to the obvious questions so many of my constituents are asking. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility has launched an investigation, and I look forward to learning more about the action taken to deport Haitians seeking asylum.
“Yesterday, I joined my colleagues of the Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus at a press conference to speak against the mistreatment of Haitians seeking asylum. CBC Members also visited the White House to meet with senior administration officials and reiterated the call for humanitarian assistance for those at the border including:
- Immediately conducting a full investigation of the violence against Haitian migrants, public release of the results of the investigation and a call for removal of CBP agents identified in photos on horseback brutalizing migrants.
- Clarify public narrative surrounding the treatment of Haitian migrants, which stands in stark contrast to what the public witnessed regarding the treatment received by Afghan refugees. Haitian migrants are being deported under Section 42 Public Health Order issued in March 2020 which allows the Department of Homeland Security to immediately deport migrants without any due process or opportunities to claim asylum. This process is discretionary.
- Ensure Haitian migrants are provided with necessities like food and water.
- Provide a detailed breakdown regarding U.S. efforts to support repatriated Haitians, including any assistance, aid, or healthcare including Covid-19 vaccinations, and/or counseling delivered.
“In August, with a full awareness of the dire situation in Haiti, I joined 53 of my colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to provide humanitarian parole for Haitians arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and halt the application of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Title 42 ban and Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). This letter also urged the Biden Administration to immediately halt deportations in response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti, like the action taken by the U.S. government following the previous earthquake in Haiti in January 2010.
“I will continue to monitor these efforts and work to ensure Haitian’s migrants have the full protection afforded to those seeking asylum under U.S. law.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.