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President Biden Spent His First Full Month In Office Deporting Black Immigrants — And No One Is Talking About It

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Joe Biden

One thing President Joe Biden promised during his campaign trail was to change the U.S. immigration policy to one of fairness, promising to unravel the Trump-era policies that kept many refugees and immigrants stuck at the border trying fruitlessly to get into America. 

Now, one month into his presidency, Biden’s plan seems to be taking a lot longer to implement — especially considering that throughout the last month, hundreds of immigrants have been swept out of the United States. 

Many of those migrants have been Black people being expelled back to nations such as Haiti, a country experiencing dangerous political turmoil, causing many people to fear that Haitian immigrants being deported back will be harmed or even killed.

The immigration situation is a horrible circumstance that many people thought would be solved under the Biden and Harris administration, especially because Vice President Harris is the daughter of an immigrant herself and the first Black female Vice-President. 

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The federal government has deported more than 70 asylum-seekers back to Haiti, including a two-month-old baby and 21 other children. Soon, hundreds of other Black immigrants are expected to be deported, including 135 Haitian immigrants, most of them families.

Most of the coverage around these deportations has been limited, but there exists a belief that the removal of many Black immigrants from this country is done as an example of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operating as a "rogue agency."

A rogue agency in relation to ICE means that agency refuses to comply with Biden’s administration orders, which instructed ICE to only remove suspected terrorists and people who have been convicted of felonies.

During his first days in office, Biden also ordered a 100-day delay on some deportations, which was temporarily blocked by a judge in Texas. The judge’s denial of Biden’s plan left room for only the most serious immigration cases to be subject to deportation.

The problem with that idea is that ICE is not a rogue agency at all deporting immigrants and sending them back to the dangerous countries they had been trying to flee from for fear of their lives is something ICE has been doing all along. 

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ICE is simply operating as they’ve previously been allowed to do under the Trump administration. Anti-Blackness is baked into the immigration system, and ICE has weaponized it in a way that has forced Black immigrants out of America. 

ICE has spent the entirety of Black History Month sending Black immigrants back to their dangerous home countries. 

There was a success on Feb. 5, when advocates managed to suspend a deportation flight carrying African immigrants from Cameroon, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But since Feb. 1, over 500 Haitians have been deported in an effort to deport 1,800 to Haiti by mid-February. 

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, is witnessing its democracy plunge into a constitutional crisis with claims of a coup attempt.

Immigrant advocates are simply asking the Biden-Harris administration to stop risking the lives of Black immigrants and put these expulsions to an end. 

For this to be happening during Black History Month  and in the middle of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black people in terms of unemployment and health  is inhumane. Especially with the promises Biden during his campaign to put an end to the horrible immigration policy that America currently upholds. 

There was even a demonstration at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. in which a man fell to his knees to avoid being deported because his home country of Cameroon is in the middle of violent conflicts. 

Biden has since urged migrants and lawmakers to have patience, emphasizing that the Department of Homeland Security is only targeting people who meet its priorities — except the reality is young children are being deported and families are being separated. People are hurting, and are fearful that any day, ICE will come for them and send them back to a country that may likely kill them.

We saw the horrors of immigration under the Trump administration: Children in cages. Families suffering from being separated. People only try to come over to America — a country that's supposed to be home to anyone who seeks freedom — for a chance at a better life for themselves and for their children. But tragically, this country has only ever turned its backs on refugees and asylum seekers, leaving them to suffer and fear for their lives.

It needs to end.

The Biden-Harris administration needs to uphold the promises they made to the millions of immigrants living in this country. Because without any change, there will be even more Black immigrants that will be deported — and their lives won't have a happy ending.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.