Cages, Horsewhips And The Hypocrisy Of It All

us-border-agents-ride-down-haitians
A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback grabs a Haitian migrant by his clothing to prevent him from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
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By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Oct. 1, 2021: We have now gone from the era of brown children in cages, to the era of white men on horses chasing down innocent black migrants like runaway slaves, grabbing them by their clothing as horse reins are waved like whips and lassos.

Three years after Donald Trump, we as immigrant voters, who largely voted to get rid of the dark days of Trump’s immigration terror, now feel like its déjà vu. As one of my colleagues summed it up: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’

What is more nauseating is the fake outrage that has taken days to emerge from the Biden White House and administration, even as immigrants from Haiti were already being shipped back to a country they had not lived in for years and which has no capacity to accept them.

The mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents were called out and sent to help stop more Haitian immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. This occurred after thousands of Haitian migrants managed to cross the river on Sept. 17th and set up an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initially said the agents were trained to respond the way they did to migrants. But he then backtracked when President Biden condemned the agents in front of reporters, subsequently appearing on CNN to say that “one cannot weaponize a horse” against migrants.

By then, hundreds of Haitian migrants were already deported back to Haiti as US DHS had announced the policy beginning on Sat. Sept. 18th after the convergence under the bridge.

It then took Joe Biden’s immigration czar and vice president, Kamala Harris, three days after the rein whip photo emerged from the border to express “grave concerns.” She did not make a live statement in an interview, but said this through her chief of staff, that all border agents should “to treat people with dignity, humanely and consistent with our laws and our values.”

I call BS on that. The reality is that Harris has been using Donald Trump’s own policies to try to get the border crisis under control, including pushing Central American governments to get tough with migrants before they get to the US border.

For more than a week before, as the caravan of migrants tried to make it to the border to apply for asylum, Mexican agents had arrested, chased, and roughed up Haitian migrants as the US administration pressured Mexico to contain the migrants.

But like most politicians, hypocrisy was on full display. It was so bad that Joe Biden’s own appointed special envoy for Haiti, Ambassador Daniel Lewis Foote, quit in a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Sept. 22nd. Ambassador Foote blamed the “inhumane” and “counterproductive” decision to deport thousands of Haitians back to a country where armed gangs are in control of daily life.

Of course, the administration quickly pounced on Foote. How dare he defy them and speak out? Under the bus he was thrown, faster than the US’ exit from Afghanistan and faster than Donald Trump would have tweeted his firing, even though he had resigned.

By Thursday, Sept. 23rd, under pressure from all sides, including Democratic and immigrant leaders, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that Border Patrol agents will be forbidden from using horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas, referencing the “horrific” photos of agents swinging reins while responding to Haitian migrants.

Then came President Biden’s sensational statement on Day Four of the Drama: “To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”

Are these the same promises you made in 2019 and 2020 to immigrant voters and Haitian voters Joe? Please spare me!

By then, over 2,000 Haitians were already back in Haiti.

And so, the hypocrisy album played on, like a scratched record. So much for Black Lives Matter; so much for having a Caribbean American vice president in the US White House; so much for Biden’s pledge to immigrants and especially Haitian voters in 2019; and so much for having a Haitian spokesperson in the White House in Karine Jean-Pierre.

And so, the beat goes on – as immigrants and immigrant voters again become the pawns in the US’ political con game of ‘Fool The Immigrants.’  Sorry Haitians but looks like duplicity wins again.

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow