On Tuesday, Texas Representative Al Green announced a resolution to condemn the treatment of migrants from Haiti at the border.
Over the past week, the United States Customs and Border Protection agency has been attempting to gather an estimated 12,000 Haitians who have migrated to the United States through the Texas-Mexico border. The agency has plans to deport the migrants by plane by Friday.
On Monday, photos and videos went viral of white agents using whips on individuals from Haiti who were crossing the border to get food from restaurants in Mexico and return to their families at a camp that had been set up by American authorities. Rep. Green decided to speak out on the maltreatment that is visible in the images.
After viewing the footage, DHS provided the following statement:⁰⁰DHS does not tolerate the abuse of migrants in our custody and we take these allegations very seriously.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) September 20, 2021
The agency’s response was tepid in light of what was demonstrated on camera. However, Rep. Green made it a point to include the treatment of the migrants in Tuesday’s legislative session.
“I rise today, Madame Speaker because Black lives still matter,” Green began.
“As a 74-year-old Black man, when I see men in uniforms acting under the color of law, on horses, using the reins of the horses, to do what was comparable to that which was done when you were trying to capture a runaway slave…when I see that, I find it more than appalling,” Green continued.
During the presentation of the resolution, Rep. Green broached the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy, an adjustment of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that allowed Cubans to come into the country and begin a new life. Even those incarcerated in Cuba were allowed to make a new home in Florida. Migrants from Haiti, however, are not being afforded the same opportunities.
Former President Barack Obama ended the policy before he left office in January 2017.
“Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to draft a resolution condemning what we saw,” Rep. Green shouted and banged his fist on the podium as he spoke.
Liberals and even moderate Democrats robustly decried the “kids in cages” policies that the Trump administration allowed regarding Mexican, Central and South American migrants. However, there has been little of the same passion for what is happening to individuals from Haiti who desire to seek asylum in the United States yet are being deported and receiving poor treatment in the meantime.
Rep. Green has a history of advocating for Haiti.
As he stated and reiterated in his speech, Black lives matter wherever they are.