Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls On Biden Administration to Speed Up Refugee Assistance
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued the following statement in the wake of published accounts showing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on horseback rounding up Haitians at the U.S. Mexico – Border. An estimated 14,500 men, women, and children left Haiti, some traveling first to points as far south as Brazil before making the months-long trek to Del Rio, Texas, where they have amassed in the hope of gaining entry and permission to stay in the United States.
Domingo Garcia – LULAC National President
“The scenes of Customs and Border officers on horses grabbing and corralling fleeing refugees are shameful and not the images of a country that historically has welcomed the world’s huddled masses. LULAC places the handling of this situation at the feet of the Biden Administration, and we must do better. This gathering of people is a humanitarian crisis, not a police action and we condemn treating refugees and asylum seekers as criminals. We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen before in our country involving refugees from Haiti. They are fleeing a desperate and difficult economic situation after unprecedented natural disasters that have devasted their country. Most are simply looking for work so they and their loved ones can survive the cataclysms that leveled entire communities. LULAC urges expanding and increasing the refugee interviewing process to determine those who legitimately meet the criteria to remain in the United States. The others can be humanely returned to Haiti and allowed the decency they deserve, not mistreated or harmed. Also, our country and others must provide additional aid for Haiti to help in its rebuilding and recovery.”
Lydia Guzman – LULAC National Immigration Chair
“The wave of refugees from Haiti cries out for an answer, not just from us, but the entire hemisphere. Changing climatic and political conditions are wreaking havoc on many nations, including Haiti, and its people are suffering through no fault of their own. We cannot and must not turn our back on the poor and least able to help themselves or alter their enduring situation. They have come to our border in the same way that refugees from other parts of the world did in generations past, including Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Neither anger nor hatred or xenophobia will help address this crisis. That demands convening our political, faith-based, and community leaders to craft an immediate solution that can add to governmental efforts already underway. This crisis is not the time to stand on the sidelines, for in this phenomenon of human migration, we are all united.”
Rodolfo Rosales Jr., – Texas LULAC State Director
“Once again, Texas finds itself at the center of the unfolding immigration crisis at our border, and the images of people running from border agents trying to capture them is heartbreaking. These are not animals; they are people who need our help. Texas LULAC vehemently deplores assaulting men and women with mob-control tactics when we should be seeking ways to help feed, clothe and shelter them. We call upon President Biden to come to the border and provide the leadership needed to end this crisis.”
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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.