After the US started expelling Haitian migrants and announced deportation blitz faced with the overwhelming influx of more than 14.000 people in Del Rio, Texas, over the weekend, the United Nations’ top refugee official pointed on Tuesday that deportations may violate international law.
That pushes President Biden and his administration further into the immigration policy’s political quicksand after the previous pushback from Democrats and other allies urging the administration to halt the expulsions.
The UN’s high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi, has encouraged Biden administration to scale back its health-related restrictions comprised in Title 42 enacted in March 2020, claiming such regulations deny most migrants arriving at the southwest land border any opportunity to request asylum.
Grandi, who was shocked at the images of deplorable conditions of migrants and of border agents on horseback chasing down and reining in migrants, circulating from Texas, noted that the mass expulsions of individuals without screening for protection needs- under the Title 42- is not in line with international norms and may constitute refoulement.
DHS has removed and sent to Haiti several hundred people since Sunday while transferring thousands of others into US detention for processing.
Meanwhile, a coalition of more than 38 civil rights and immigrant advocacy leaders – including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights- sent a letter calling on Biden to immediately stop deportations of Haitians.
The letter, branded “final straw” by Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, points that the responsibility for the suffering and deaths resulting from the mass expulsions and removals will fall squarely on Biden Administration and will be part of Biden’s enduring legacy.
On the other hand, National Border Patrol Council used sharply visceral terms to blast the White House on Tuesday, accusing it of being inept for lacking a plan in place to deal with the migrants’ influx that left agents overwhelmed.