Black Southern Women’s Collective Condemns Treatment of Haitian Migrants at U.S. Border; Urges Humanitarian Relief
The Black Southern Women’s Collective today raised their voices with advocacy groups centering Black immigrants and condemned the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border. The group released the following statement:
“Humanitarianism does not begin or end at U.S. borders,” said Phyllis Hill, founder of the Black Southern Women’s Collective. “As women of faith, women organizing in and with Black communities, and persons committed to racial justice, we are heartbroken by the treatment of Haitian migrants. In their greatest hour of need, Haitian migrants are being met with violence and unspeakable cruelty. We must fundamentally reform the plight of Black immigrants.”
Media reports noted that more than 14,500 Haitians were camped under a bridge in Del Rio without access to shelter, food, or a safe place to relieve themselves during temperatures in excess of 103 degrees.
“Recent events notwithstanding, it is clear that the experience of Black immigrants is largely erased from national media coverage,” said Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida. “But the treatment of Black immigrants reflects a nation entrenched in white supremacy. Black immigrants from across the diaspora are often excluded from the national discourse on immigration even though they are subject to the same marginalization as non-Black immigrants. They also navigate the terrains of race in a way that non-Black immigrants do not. It should not take horrifying photos of Black people being whipped and terrorized to inspire leaders to reform our immigration policies. Our nation’s leaders can and must do better.”
“This administration has a moral responsibility to provide humanitarian relief and asylum for persons fleeing instability,” said Akilah Wallace, executive director of Faith in Texas. “While we are focused on the crisis facing Haitian migrants, we know there are other Black immigrants experiencing the same or worse treatment from Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement.”
The crisis comes as Haiti has been embroiled in trouble given the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, an earthquake that killed thousands, and a rise in violence in the region.
“Immigrants’ quest for safe harbor should not be met with trauma and violence,” Hill said. “This level of depravity should never be witnessed or tolerated from a nation that prides itself as being a moral authority.”