Video footage released this week, which showed US border agents on horseback intentionally intimidating and mistreating Haitian migrants seeking asylum, was the latest in a series of failures by the Biden administration to live up to campaign promises made to Black and brown communities. Earlier this week, the Senate Parliamentarian — an unelected staff attorney not chosen or empowered by a vote of the people — ruled against providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented essential workers in the budget reconciliation. In light of these failures by our elected leaders, Faith in Indiana released the following statement:
“President Biden and Democrats in Congress were elected to office thanks in large part to the efforts of Black and brown leaders across the nation,” said Faith in Indiana immigrant leader Bethy Puerto. “Turning their backs our most vulnerable – Hatian families seeking refuge – and failing to live up to promises to build a pathway to citizenship and a society where all of us are treated with dignity and respect — regardless of the color of our skin or nation of origin — is unacceptable.”
“The Haitians who are fleeing to our borders are in deep trouble. They are victims of a hurricane, on top of an earthquake, on top of political turmoil.” said Nancy Myers, chair of the mission group at Kern Road Mennonite Church in South Bend. “They are our neighbors, it is unconscionable to respond to Haitian pleas for help with abuse and ridicule.”
“We know that the Trump-era immigration policies championed by bigots like Stephen Miller and President Trump himself were rooted in white supremacy,” said St. Philip Neri Catholic Church immigrant leader Francisco Chavez. “For the Biden administration to continue these immoral policies, which disproportionately target Black migrants for deportation, is incomprehensible in its cruelty and a stain on the Biden legacy that will never come clean.”
“The treatment of the Haitian immigrants is just the latest in a long history of racist, abusive, and hateful border policies that echo that of the Antebellum South,” said Progressive Baptist Church Rev. Darian Bouie. “Children are being traumatized and now have to bear the burden of their generation holding the trauma of racist US policy.”
Faith in Indiana is a catalyst for marginalized people and faith communities to act collectively for racial and economic justice in Indiana. Faith in Indiana and its chapters are strictly non-partisan and not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party.