Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Rep. Jamaal Bowman Statement on Deportation of Haitian Migrants


 Following the reporting of the pursuit and mass deportation of Haitian migrants near the Texas border, U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman issued the following statement:

"I’m heartbroken by the treatment of Haitian refugees who have recently arrived at the U.S. border. Thousands of people have risked their lives seeking safety and stability, only to be stranded in a horribly unhygienic encampment and threatened with mass deportations. I’ve been especially horrified by images of horses being weaponized and the reins of the horses being used by border patrol officers to detain desperate and vulnerable immigrants seeking asylum. 


“As I discussed with Haiti’s Ambassador Bocchit Edmond yesterday, Haiti has recently suffered the compounding tragedies of last month’s earthquake, the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, and the struggle to recover from Hurricane Matthew, all amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. I expressed to Ambassador Edmond my continued support for lasting federal efforts to provide relief to Haiti.


“We need to recognize that Haiti has been victimized by centuries of colonial rule and capitalist exploitation. Racism and profiteering have separated families and starved Haiti of resources, much as mass incarceration has separated families and drained wealth from communities of color within the United States. I myself have seen the squalor of migrant detention facilities in Laredo, Texas. It’s clear that our struggles for self-determination and security are inextricably linked. At the border and in our neighborhoods, policy should be based on care and human rights — not mass deportation or mass incarceration.


“While I appreciate President Biden’s commitment to raising the refugee cap to 125,000 by the end of the year, we must do much more to offer our Haitian neighbors the safety and stability that all people deserve. We need to expand our humanitarian efforts to provide safety, security and opportunities to those who come to our country seeking asylum. The federal government should grant asylum to Haitian refugees, and Congress should act by including a path to citizenship in our reconciliation package. If the choice is between accepting the parliamentarian’s non-binding recommendation and showing compassion to our neighbors who have suffered so profoundly, our moral obligation is to human life.”


When Congressman Bowman went to the southern border I requested an interview with him about his trip to the southern border, That was two months ago, and we have not heard from Congressman Bowman or his office since then.

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