Brutal Treatment of Asylum-Seekers Is the Reality of Government
Members of President Joe Biden’s own political party are unhappy with him over the brutal treatment of Haitian refugees at the U.S. border. Scenes of government agents on horseback pushing back men, women, and children (and allegedly striking some with their reins) elicited understandable cries of outrage and distancing from the actions by the White House itself. But these displays of righteous indignation over the events in Del Rio, Texas, are a little rich coming from people who usually applaud an activist state. If you want a government that does a lot, it’s going to do it good and hard, and somebody will inevitably get hurt.
“I urge President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to immediately put a stop to these expulsions and to end this Title 42 policy at our southern border,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized the administration with regard to the public health authority under which migrants are being turned away at the border. “We cannot continue these hateful and xenophobic Trump policies that disregard our refugee laws. We must allow asylum seekers to present their claims at our ports of entry and be afforded due process.”
“I’m not just unhappy with the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them, I’m unhappy with the administration,” commented Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). “What we witnessed takes us back hundreds of years. What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery,” she added in what we can only hope was an exercise in hyperbole and not a display of her historical knowledge.
Biden’s nominal political allies may try to link the border policies to the last administration, but they’ve been defended and extended by the current occupant of the White House. Relief came only from a court injunction scheduled to take effect within days on the grounds that, despite its appeal to Title 42, the federal government has no authority to expel those seeking asylum. The president and his allies likely wish the injunction had come sooner, before millions of people saw video footage of border agents confronting refugees. As it is, the White House finds itself backpedaling from enforcement of its own policies.
“We’ve watched the photos of Haitians gathering under a bridge, many with families, and the horrific video of the CBP officers on horse — on horses using brutal and inappropriate measures against innocent people,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki intoned on Wednesday in response to questions about the scenes. “So, as it relates to those photos and that horrific video, we’re not going to stand for that kind of inhumane treatment.”
But if Psaki, the president she serves, and their allies are truly horrified by the scenes from the border, it’s fair to ask what they thought expulsion of refugees was going to look like. After all, District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s injunction was based in part on recognition that refugees tryi
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