Amnesty International researches events at Del Rio, Texas one year ago to find human rights abused by Border Control under admin of Pres. Biden.
The U.S. violated international human rights laws and displayed anti-Black discriminatory practices in its treatment of Haitians at the Del Rio border last year, an Amnesty International report released yesterday said.
The research found that the Haitians’ harms were rooted in a combination of anti-Black discrimination and nationality-based discrimination, according to authors at the global human rights nonprofit.
The report, “They Did Not Treat Us Like People,” researched the events investigated in July by the Biden administration but, unlike that investigation, interviewed Haitians who were in the migrant encampment. Those 24 interviewees, all deportees, said they were returned to Haiti by plane in handcuffs and shackles and many were chained in front of their children.
Such treatment is in violation of international human rights law, which requires states to protect people from torture based on their particular vulnerabilities, such as race, migratory status, gender, and nationality, stated experts Amnesty International interviewed.
Many of the interviewees experienced a lack of access to food, healthcare, information, interpreters and lawyers in U.S. detention facilities.
Haitian migrants had already lived through a range of human rights violations, as well as anti-Black racism before arriving on U.S. soil and were particularly susceptible to further ill-treatment once they had arrived, according to the report that also interviewed psychologists, academics and lawyers.
“The incident on September 19th, 2021 in #DelRio,Texas served as a reminder to the public of the US what most Black people in this country already knew– state-sanctioned violence against Black people is woven into the very fabric of all systems of U.S. governance,” tweeted @UndocuBlack, a movement of Black immigrants, posted September 19.
Amnesty International released its report on the anniversary of events in Del Rio, Texas, where Border Patrol officers on horseback charged into crowds of Black Haitian asylum seekers. It researched more substantially the events investigated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a law enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security, which concluded none of the Haitians in Del Rio were intentionally struck by Border Patrol agents with their reins.
Most of the expulsions took place under Title 42 — a public health order implemented by the Trump administration purportedly to prevent Covid-19.
“All of the Haitians interviewed for this report indicated that the US authorities had not tested them for Covid-19 or offered them vaccines at any point during their detention or prior to expulsion,” said the report.
Between September 2021 and May 2022, the U.S. expelled more than 25,000 Haitians, making significant use of Title 42.
“[It is] thinly disguised as a public health measure, which has always worked as an immigration and asylum deterrence policy, in express violation of national and international law,” the report said.
Amnesty International asserted that to subject Haitians to removals under Title 42 without credible fear screenings, the authorities reinforced harmful historical tendencies, stereotyping Haitians as bearers of disease — an action that further discriminated against them based on their race and nationality. In the 1990s, U.S. authorities detained Haitian asylum seekers living with HIV in camps in Guantanamo Bay.