MIAMI – A large group gathered in front of Miami’s immigration office Wednesday, at one point blocking 7th Avenue, to protest the U.S. government’s mass deportation of Haitian migrants from a Texas border town.
They are demanding that the Biden administration hear the asylum claims of Haitian migrants trying to enter the country in Del Rio, Texas.
“They need to treat us like a people,” protester Marie Jacinthe said. “They treat you like a dog. ... It’s very, very bad the way they treat us.”
On Wednesday, many of the Haitian migrants were being released in the United States and admitted into the asylum-requesting process, undercutting the Biden administration’s public statements that the thousands in the camp faced immediate expulsion.
One U.S. official put the figure in the thousands.
…They are “processed”, given notices to report to immigration within 60 days, and released.— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) September 22, 2021
Who avoids immediate deportation under Title 42?
Looks like those with relatives or sponsors, family units & pregnant woman, like those we met headed to 👇🏼Miami & Ohio👇🏼@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/1AkgLtiWf6
The ones being admitted generally have sponsors and are families or are pregnant women.
Hundreds of others have been deported with no asylum due process under Title 42, which allows expulsions under health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Get them vaccinated and then get them through the process,” protester Santcha Etienne said.
Many of the migrants took long, dangerous treks to the border on what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said was “false information that the border is open, or that temporary protected status is available.”
That misinformation was coming to many by way of smugglers who charged families large sums of money with the promise of delivering them from a country in political, social and economic crisis.
The White House has faced a bipartisan backlash for the handling of the border situation.
“America, this is your litmus test of humanity and empathy,” said state Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park.
Striking video of agents maneuvering their horses to forcibly block and move migrants attempting to cross the border has sparked resounding criticism from Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Those actions are currently being reviewed, and Mayorkas said the agents involved have been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation.
“The actions we’re taking are swift and strong, and we will take further action as the facts adduced in the investigation compel,” he wrote on Twitter.