Haitian migrants sue Biden administration over treatment at Mexico-US border

A group of Haitian asylum seekers who crossed into Texas as part of a migration surge last September filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration this week over alleged mistreatment by U.S. immigration authorities.

Mirard Joseph, seen in a widely published photo of a Border Patrol agent on horseback grabbing him by the collar, 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 U.S. from Mexico.

PHOTO: A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 19, 2021.  (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 19, 2021. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)

Joseph had crossed the river from Mexico to bring food to his family when he was confronted by the agent who attempted to drag him back to the water, according to the lawsuit, which alleges the Biden administration deliberately avoided providing humanitarian support to the area in an effort to deter the migrants from crossing.

An unnamed Haitian plaintiff, identified as Paul Doe in the legal complaint, said he saw U.S. authorities beating migrants and shoving them back into the river.

PHOTO: U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback look on as Haitian migrants sit on the river bank near an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 19, 2021. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback look on as Haitian migrants sit on the riverbank near an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 19, 2021. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

As several migrants attempted to use a rope tied to the U.S. bank of the river to cross more safely, Paul said he saw an officer cut the rope and yell at the migrants to go back as they struggled to keep their heads above water.

The migrants are represented by immigrant advocacy groups Justice Action Center, Haitian Bridge Alliance and Innovation Law Lab. They are asking the government to help them return to the U.S. and give them the opportunity to apply for asylum as well as money to cover their expenses.

“We must hold the Biden administration accountable for the unconscionable civil rights abuses that occurred in Del Rio, Texas,” JAC founder Karen Tumlin said at a press conference Tuesday. “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.”

Source: Yahoo News



Comments

comments