As the trending of #HaitianLivesMatter dwindled on social media, thousands of migrants have been deported to the earthquake-ravaged island nation, hundreds continue to risk their lives to touch American soil, and all have been targets of racial epithets by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Guatemalan authorities rescued a group of 126 migrants from a container heading to Mexico to cross into the U.S. on Oct. 9. The 106 Haitian migrants found in the container join the more than 10,000 from the island nation who have tried to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. in recent weeks in hopes of being granted asylum.
On the same day of the container rescue in Guatemala, Mexican authorities intercepted 652 migrants in three trucks on a highway in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
The hundreds of migrants rescued from the packed container on Saturday received medical care and were sent back to Honduras, where they crossed into the Guatemala. Nine of the migrants were from Ghana, officials said.
While Haiti has become the epicenter for massive earthquakes and political unrest, President Joe Biden’s administration has expelled more than 7,500 migrants from under a bridge at the southern border back to Haiti. More than 2,000 of those migrants were allowed to stay in the U.S., The New York Times reported.
In a recent Fox News interview, Trump said that letting Haitians into the U.S. is “like a death wish for our country.”
“So, we have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem,” Trump said. “Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they’re coming into our country. And we don’t do anything about it. We let everybody come in.”
A Daily Beast reporter shared a clip with the caption, “Trump fearmongers about AIDS among Haitian migrants.”
It was not the first time Trump accused Haitians of being carriers of the chronic condition.
According to the Times, Trump uttered similar words during an Oval Office meeting in 2017 about how many immigrants had received visas. Trump said all of the 15,000 “had AIDS.”
While Haiti is among the top countries for the disease in the Caribbean, according to the Joint United Nations Programme, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 63 percent in the past decade.
Trump also made headlines in 2018 for calling Haiti and African countries “sh-thole” countries.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials faced backlash last month after photos made public by The El Paso Times showed Border Patrol agents on horseback flinging rope at Haitian migrants as they crossed the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas. Many compared the images to slave catchers chasing runaway slaves in the antebellum South.
The images led to outrage all over social media. Haitian-Americans flooded the internet with #HaitianLivesMatter. Celebrities, world leaders and civil rights advocates also spoke out against the treatment of the Haiti migrants, who are Black.
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