Haitian Migrants Sue US Administration Over Border Treatment

Published December 22nd, 2021 - 11:24 GMT
Haitian migrants to file a lawsuit against US over treatment on border
Haitian migrants run after crossing the Rio Bravo to seek political asylum in the US, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on December 6, 2021.(Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP)
Highlights
Haitian migrants sue Biden administration over treatment at southern border

A group of Haitian migrants is suing the administration of US President Joe Biden over its treatment of migrants.

The migrants, who crossed into Texas last September, recounted squalid conditions at a makeshift camp in Del Rio this year as well as confrontations with officers on horseback, according to the lawsuit.

In September, an influx of migrants -- primarily Haitian -- caught the Biden administration off guard, leading to thousands amassing under the Del Rio International Bridge waiting to claim asylum.

During that time, images of Border Patrol agents on horseback aggressively confronting migrants were released which drew swift condemnation from advocates, lawmakers, and senior administration officials.

In one of the photos, a Border Patrol agent can be seen on horseback grabbing a migrant, Mirard Joseph, by the collar.

Joseph said it was “the most humiliating experience of his life” when the agent “lashed at him” with his reins and tried dragging him back to the Rio Grande, which separates the US from Mexico.

"After Mirard stepped out of the river, holding two bags of food for Madeleine and his daughter, he encountered a mounted officer. As other officers looked on—some on foot, others on horseback or in official vehicles—the mounted officer shouted at Mirard, lashed at him with split reins, grabbed his neck, and held his collar," the lawsuit states.

"For several minutes, the officer attempted to drag Mirard back to the river, destroying Mirard's shirt and causing his shoes to fall off in the process. The officer released Mirard only when the horse was about to trample him," it continues.

Justice Action Center (JAC) founder Karen Tumlin said at a press conference Tuesday that the Biden administration should be held accountable.


"We must hold the Biden administration accountable for the unconscionable civil rights abuses that occurred in Del Rio, Texas," Tumlin said. "The United States government at the highest level knew of a potential influx of asylum seekers in the United States and they chose to not even do the bare minimum to prepare."

The lawsuit also states that the Title 42 process "has been brutally deployed against Haitians." It also adds that the Department of Homeland Security violated the rights of thousands of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, stating that the administration was aware that there would be a rise in Haitians seeking asylum.

"Despite these warnings, the White House and DHS Defendants decided to take no action to plan for the arrival of these asylum seekers," the complaint says.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

is suing the administration of US President Joe Biden over its treatment of migrants.

The migrants, who crossed into Texas last September, recounted squalid conditions at a makeshift camp in Del Rio this year as well as confrontations with officers on horseback, according to the lawsuit.

In September, an influx of migrants -- primarily Haitian -- caught the Biden administration off guard, leading to thousands amassing under the Del Rio International Bridge waiting to claim asylum.

During that time, images of Border Patrol agents on horseback aggressively confronting migrants were released which drew swift condemnation from advocates, lawmakers, and senior administration officials.

In one of the photos, a Border Patrol agent can be seen on horseback grabbing a migrant, Mirard Joseph, by the collar.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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