Downing calls for humane asylum process for Haitian Refugees

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2021


Urges Biden Administration to stop using Title 42 policy, hold CBP agents accountable for inhumane abuse

East Boston, MA — Following the publication of photos and videos showing border patrol agents using whips to confront Haitian refugees at the U.S. border, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing released the following statement:

“This week, Haitian refugees seeking asylum were met by bullwhips used by Customs and Border Patrol agents on horseback. This inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants was a clear expression of the xenophobia, racism, and anti-Black sentiment that too often pervades our immigration system,” Downing stated. “There should be an investigation into CBP practices, and agents involved must be held accountable for their actions.”

“Refugees seeking asylum in the United States are entitled to move through the system and have their case processed,” Downing continued. “After the Trump Administration invoked the Title 42 public health law as a means for expelling migrants without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum, the Biden Administration has failed to move away from this process—and just last week moved to appeal a court ruling halting use of the law against families with children. The continued use of Title 42 runs counter to our highest ideals on the promise of opportunity in the United States.”

“With huddled masses now gathered and waiting beneath the Del Rio Bridge, I call on the Biden Administration to terminate use of the Title 42 policy as a means for expelling migrants. Haitian refugees coming to our nation’s border should have the opportunity to apply for asylum in accordance with the law. Here in Massachusetts, our vibrant communities should welcome Haitian migrants and refugees into our state with open arms. Massachusetts and the United States are made better by our refugee residents, and our immigration policies should always reflect that fundamental truth.”