Texas Democrat Not Ridin' With Biden on 'Trump'-Style Deportations to Haiti

© REUTERS / ADREES LATIFFILE PHOTO: Before and after images of migrant camp
FILE PHOTO: Before and after images of migrant camp - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.09.2021
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Beto O'Rourke, a former senate and presidential candidate who backed US President Joe Biden's election campaign, claimed that the teeming camp under a Texas bridge held just "scores" of Haitian migrants who had arrived from South American countries.
A former Texas Democrat congressman has slammed US President Joe Biden for his deportations of thousands of Haitian illegal immigrants.
Beto O'Rourke laid into his fellow party-member in an opinion piece for El Paso Matters on Friday, accusing the US president of aping the policies of his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.
The Biden administration ordered the dismantling of a migrant squatter camp under the international bridge in the Texas border town of Del Rio and ordered its occupants, who had crossed the border from Mexico, to be deported to their homeland of Haiti.
The former representative referred to "scores of Haitian immigrants who were living in filth under the city’s bridges" — when an official estimate asserted that some 15,000 had waded across the Rio Grande in a matter of days.
"Unfortunately, stung by the outcry and caught without a plan, the Biden administration used a cynical Trump-era policy (known as Title 42) to immediately, and without due process, repatriate Haitians back to the country they left a decade ago, one whose streets are now ruled by gangs and criminals," O'Rourke wrote.
"We need our government to dispense with cynical Trump-era policies and follow current US law to ensure due process for asylum seekers," the former candidate added.
Title 42 is a section of the 1944 Public Health Service Act, which allows the US government to prevent the entry of people or goods into the country during an epidemic. It was signed into law by Democratic US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
During his 2017-21 presidency, Trump extended the construction of existing border walls and tightened immigration policing along the southern border, as well as cutting a deal with Mexico to host asylum seekers there until their hearings were due in the US.
"So antithetical to our values and our common humanity, that the administration’s own envoy to Haiti resigned in disgust," O'Rourke wrote in reference to Daniel Foote.
Foote criticised decades of US interference in Haitian politics, which was wracked by a new crisis this summer when Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated by mercenaries from America's close regional ally, Colombia.
Агенты пограничного патруля США пытаются помешать гаитянским мигрантам войти в лагерь на берегу Рио-Гранде в Дель-Рио, штат Техас - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.09.2021
US Special Envoy for Haiti Resigns to Protest "Inhumane" Deportation of Haitians
But he acknowledged that the Haitian refugees had in fact arrived from South American countries, in particular Brazil and Chile, to which they had emigrated to take jobs from 2010 onwards — many working on construction projects for the 2016 Rio Olympic games.

"As these Latin American host countries, no longer desperate for immigrant labor, suffered high levels of COVID deaths, they became more dangerous and less hospitable to these refugees," O'Rourke stated, although the US has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world.

He also attacked Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans in congress for seeking "photo ops" and being "hungry to pose tough in front of suffering people".
"The disregard for border communities, and the over reliance on already stressed federal law enforcement, produced conditions that ultimately led to the unforgettable and unforgivable scene of mounted officers charging into the mass of unarmed immigrants," O'Rourke said, referring to mounted Border Patrol officers who patrolled the river bank.
But on Friday the photographer who took snaps of the agents who allegedly "whipped" men trying to rush the US bank of the Rio Grande from the Mexican side debunked the claim, pointing out the straps seen were reins used to control the horses, and he did not see them striking the migrants.
And in an echo of the 19th-century Monroe Doctrine of US primacy in the Western hemisphere, O'Rourke asserted: "The Americas must be the foreign policy priority of America."

"While you’re making submarine deals with Australia, the countries and people that we’re actually connected to by land, history, family and culture are left without serious US attention, involvement or leadership," he said in a jibe at Biden's recent foreign-policy bust-up with legacy NATO ally France.

"We need America to step up and convene the countries of this hemisphere to solve the interconnected crises of failed states, climate catastrophes and the mass movement of people who — through no fault of their own — are unable to stay in their home countries," the Democrat said.
O'Rourke was the representative for Texas' 16th congressional district from 2013 to 2019. In 2018, he unsuccessfully challenged Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz — himself an immigrant.
O'Rourke sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019, but dropped out before the primaries began and endorsed Biden. He has signaled his intention to run for Texas governor against Abbott in 2022.
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