The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Haitian Migrants Kept out at the U.S. Border

Sep 27, 2021

Thousands of Haitians fleeing hunger and violence have been arriving at the Texas-Mexico border. In August, the U.S. border saw a new record for migrant arrivals, after the record set in July—more than 200,000 people are now arriving each month.

The public here was subjected to startling images of a massive camp of at least 14,000 Haitian migrants under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, trapped there in squalid conditions by the U.S. Border Patrol. Other images showed Border Agents on horseback chasing down fleeing people, wielding ropes as whips, driving some into Mexico, rounding up others for detention.

Many have expressed outrage that the Haitian people, driven from their country by disasters, poverty, and political turmoil, were treated like animals by the U.S. border guards. Senator Maxine Waters said she deplored the treatment. Kamala Harris called it inhumane. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Joe Biden agreed. But finally, it didn’t amount to a change in the policies being used against the migrants.

The Biden administration had already said that it would deport these migrants swiftly, with flights arriving in Haiti the day after the attack on this camp.

The response of the U.S. under Biden remains the same as it had been under Trump. That is, to pay the governments in Mexico and Central American countries to block people from passing through; to use the excuse of the pandemic to deport people immediately; to deny most the right to even apply for asylum. If they have been granted the right to an asylum hearing, they push migrants to “remain in Mexico” while they wait years for a hearing.

The administration has acted swiftly to clear the thousands of migrants from under the bridge. But this doesn’t mean that the migrants have been allowed asylum here. Far from it.

The press, attempting to identify where the thousands of migrants were relocated, had found out that more than 2,000 had been deported, over 1,000 of them on planes back to Haiti, and that around 4,000 were detained pending deportation, while thousands more are being given “interviews.” The government adds that “some” families have been allowed to stay because Mexico won’t accept them.

The horrific scenes under the bridge are no longer there, although some migrants still are. But the brutal policies remain—now out of sight.