By Jonathan Ng, Truthout

This September, U.S. border patrol agents violently seized Haitian refugees along the Rio Grande, attracting fierce criticism and international attention. Officers on horseback trotted through families, wielded their reins as whips and chased migrants carrying their meager possessions in plastic bags. After scandalizing public opinion, President Joe Biden deemed the operation “outrageous” and promised that the border agents “will pay.”

Yet behind the scenes, his administration has swiftly deported thousands of Haitians. Authorities frequently exploit Title 42 of the Public Health Services Law to expel refugees seeking asylum. “We are doing this out of a public health need,” claims Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “It is not an immigration policy.” In practice, the legal subterfuge has allowed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to turn historic numbers of migrants away. Recently, the U.S. special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned in protest, denouncing the “inhumane, counterproductive” policy.

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