El Paso residents protest against treatment of Haitian migrants


A coalition of advocacy groups and El Paso leaders staged a “March for Our Dignity” protest in the city center on Thursday afternoon, condemning the treatment of Haitian migrants by the border patrol and demanding a humane process for them. Haitians seek asylum in the United States.

More than 50 demonstrators gathered in San Jacinto Square, carrying placards and banners reading “END TITRE 42” and “Welcome to dignity”, referring to the mass deportation of Haitian migrants to this country.

Protesters passed through downtown El Paso towards the base of the Stanton Street International Bridge, where a press conference was held with speakers including Fernando Garcia of the Border Network for Human Rights, Pastor Michael Grady of the Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship, City of El Paso. Representative Alexandra Annello and Deacon Edroud Jean from the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

“Now we have Afghan refugees in Fort Bliss, we have Haitian migrants who are brought here to be returned to a country where thousands of people lack basic amenities due to a natural disaster,” said Annello at the press conference. “How many people have to knock on our door before we get to the table of comprehensive immigration reform? “

Following the arrival of thousands of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas, El Paso County Judge Samaniego said 500 Haitians were flown to El Paso each day for treatment by officials federal before being deported to Haiti. Nearly 10,000 Afghan nationals are staying at Fort Bliss after fleeing the country last month. The exodus followed the US withdrawal of its military from Afghanistan after two decades of war.

Haitian migrants are deported by Title 42, a clause in the 1944 Public Health Services Act that was rarely implemented until it was widely used under the Trump administration in response to the pandemic of COVID-19. A health adviser for Biden said in March that there was no evidence that migrants contributed to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, despite numerous claims to the contrary by Republican leaders, including the governor of Texas. , Greg Abbott.

The march for our dignity took place in El Paso street towards the Paso del Norte bridge. (René Kladzyk / El Paso Matters)

Nonetheless, the Biden administration continued to use Title 42 to expel migrants quickly, amid widespread outcry from immigration advocates who claim the practice violates the right to seek asylum and contributes to rights atrocities. humans south of the border. A federal court recently ruled that the government must stop deporting migrant families using Title 42 in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The decision does not take effect until September 30, and the Biden administration has filed an appeal.

“The administration continues to adhere to its Title 42 policy … as a way to co-opt the pandemic to end asylum on our border,” ACLU Shaw Drake said at the protest. “Instead of accepting this order (of the Federal Court), of accepting what is clear and blatant,… the Biden administration has made the choice to defend its policy, to harm families and to endanger them. “

Cover photo: A coalition of advocacy groups have joined in protest in downtown El Paso, condemning the mass deportation of Haitian migrants and the treatment of migrants in Del Rio by the border patrol. (René Kladzyk / El Paso Matters)


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