Recent media reports over Haitian migrants crossing the border from Mexico to Texas have debated whether Border Patrol agents were carrying whips or not. Indeed, we chose the wording “whip-like cords” in our article to reflect the ambiguity. This may be missing the point: From the vantage point of the migrants, half-submerged in water and looking up at uniformed men on horses, the thing being swung must surely have looked like a whip.

Moreover, the debate is a distraction from wider concern about what went down last week at the border. Karen Musalo, a refugee law expert at the University of California, Hastings, describes how the United States’ treatment of the migrants circumvents its international obligations. “It is entirely legal to approach U.S. borders and request asylum,” she writes.

By relying on a Trump-era order to deport thousands, the Biden administration has replaced existing immigration law with a discriminatory public health order and eliminated due process protections that are integral to U.S. laws, she explains.

Also today:

Matt Williams

Breaking News Editor

U.S. envoy resigned over “inhumane” treatment of Haitian migrants. AP Photo/Felix Marquez

Haitian migrants at the border: An asylum law scholar explains how US skirts its legal and moral duties

Karen Musalo, University of California, Hastings

The Biden administration has used a public health provision to deport thousands of Haitian migrants entering the US via Mexico.

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