MIAMI (CBSMiami) – People protesting the deportation of Haitian migrants at the southern border took to the streets of northwest Miami-Dade near a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office on Wednesday.
Chanting and holding signs, a large group packed NW 7th Avenue, at times blocking the street and sidewalk.READ MORE: Arrest Affidavit: Accused Hollywood Cop Killer Jason Banegas Claims He Was Trying To Kill Himself In Struggle With Slain Officer Yandy Chirino
Those taking part in the protest want the Biden administration to allow Haitians at the border to seek asylum.
“The last thing they need is a leader of the free world, the land of the free and the home of the brave to turn away people, black people who are in need,” said Kelli Ann Thomas.
The protest came as the result of the conditions in Del Rio, Texas where thousands of Haitian migrants have been camped out waiting for the chance to seek asylum.
Frustrations grew after videos surfaced of border agents being aggressive with the migrants. Some videos showed agents on horseback trying to corral several migrants by hitting them with their reins.
“It looks like it’s 1896 instead of 2021. There is no way in ‘H-E- double hockey sticks’ that the U.S. Border Patrol, that’s supposed to keep order, are whipping on horses children, women, and men who are trying to seek freedom, it’s disgusting,” said Thomas.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
Haitian American activist Marleine Bastien said the people are leaving Haiti after thirty years of failed policies that have denied them but have supported corrupt leaders.
“If you are in a burning house, what do you do? You run and that’s what they have been doing,” she said.
As for the current border situation, there is conflicting information.
According to the Associated Press, thousands of Haitian migrants, who stayed in impromptu camps spanning the Rio Grande along the Texas-Mexico border, are now being allowed to remain in the U.S., while they seek asylum.
This comes in stark contrast to U.S. government claims that deportation flights are stepping up, with as many as nine planes carrying migrants back to Haiti since Sunday.
President Biden says his administration is handling the influx of mostly Haitian migrants.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
The Biden administration is facing criticism from the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, who called the mass expulsions “inconsistent with international norms.”