FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday, Custom and Border Patrol’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) issued a 511 page “Report of Investigation” on the September 19, 2021 incident in Del Rio where Border patrol threatened Haitian asylum seekers with split reins and verbally abused individuals who were bringing food and water back to their families.
Counsel from Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Biden offered to provide OPR with individuals who were assaulted by mounted CBP officers, but were rebuffed in their efforts. Below is a statement from Esther Sung, Legal Director of Justice Action Center and counsel in HBA v. Biden:
“Border Patrol’s abuse of 15,000 Haitian migrants exercising their right to seek safety represents a horrific legacy of anti-Black and specifically anti-Haitian animus at the root of the US immigration system. The subsequent investigation should have included testimony and interviews of Haitians harmed by CBP and other government officials. These people, many of whom are named plaintiffs in our lawsuit, bravely offered to provide their perspective— only to be rebuffed. The report reveals the ways anti-Blackness is codified in our immigration system and in the tactics many border officials use when approaching Black families, Black children, and people fleeing for their lives.
“Along with the Haitian Bridge Alliance and Innovation Law Lab, our co-counsel in HBA v. Biden, we will continue to demand justice from the Biden administration on behalf of the thousands of Haitian asylum seekers who sought safety in Del Rio. We will continue to work collectively to ensure that Black migrants are not demonized, abused, and made even more vulnerable without any accountability or recourse.”
For more information about the federal class action lawsuit Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Biden, visit https://justiceactioncenter.org/federal-class-action-lawsuit-alleges-racist-and-abusive-treatment-of-haitian-migrants-in-del-rio-texas/
# # #
Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to address unmet needs, empower clients, and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants in the U.S. Learn more at justiceactioncenter.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.