BLACK CAUCUS CONDEMNS MISTREATMENT OF HAITIAN REFUGEES

September 24, 2021

The California Legislative Black Caucus calls on President Joe Biden’s Administration and Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alajendro Mayorkas to take immediate action to halt the barbaricand inhumane actions taken by the Border Patrol against the Haitian people who have fled an earthquake and political unrest in their homeland.

Further we ask for the immediate suspension of the Border Patrol officers involved, a Congressional investigation of the Border Patrol and the expedited acceptance of asylum applications for the Haitian refugees at the border. Like refugees from Afghanistan, Central and South America, Canada and Mexico, Haitian refugees have the absolute right to seek asylum in the United States of America.

For African Americans nationally and in California, the images of abject brutality against Haitian refugees bring back memories reminiscent of the dehumanizing horrors of American slavery and segregation including the public lynching of Black bodies throughout our country. The actions of the Border Patrol and the silence of many of our allies are completely unacceptable.

We call one our greatest allies, Governor Gavin Newsom, to raise his voice in protest of the actions of the Border Patrol and to invite and provide resources for resettlement for the Haitian refugees at the border. We also call upon our allies in the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, California Legislative Jewish Caucus, California Latino Legislative Caucus, California Legislative Women’s Caucus and the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus to join us in protest against the Border Patrol’s actions and calling for the immediate action by the Biden Administration, Secretary Mayorkas and Governor Newsom.

We are incensed with the actions taken by the Border Patrol and urge the Presidential Administration and Secretary Mayorkas to take immediate action to investigate and reprimand the officers involved in this heinous degradation of humanity. We are very concerned about the intentions of their actions. Clearly the actions taken against Black immigrants is heinous.

We encourage Secretary Mayorkas to implement bias and sensitivity training to ensure Border Patrol Officers are providing the same standard of support to all immigrants fleeing from disaster and insurrection ultimately landing in the United States. The CLBC has and continues to be a consistent voice for the rights of immigrants and the undocumented community on issues related to asylum, health, education, justice and civil rights. We now call on our allies to raise their voice with us in support of our Haitian sisters and brothers.

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, ‘Your life begins to end the moment you start being silent about the things that matter.”  In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. There comes a time when silence is betrayal.’ We call on our allies to stand with us in asking for immediate action by the Biden Administration, Secretary Mayorkas and Governor Newsom to end the brutality against the Haitian immigrants.

 

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