An organizer of a pro-immigration protest downtown on Tuesday called the Biden administration’s response to Haitian refugees on the southern border racist and inhumane.

The protest, made up of a few dozen people, follows the latest crisis at the US-Mexico border and comes ahead of a national week of action for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the activist organization, said she wanted people to know there is a moral imperative to protect black migrants.

“We are the most vulnerable people at this border, and they have to let us in,” she told a group of about 40 outside the Federal Justice Tower, 501 Las Vegas Blvd. South. The building houses the local office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The group shouted pro-immigrant and anti-police chants and criticized the Biden administration.

Last month, thousands of people, mostly Haitians, converged on the US-Mexico border in Texas to seek asylum.

On September 24, Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, told reporters that 2,000 people had been returned to Haiti and more than 12,000 others would be heard by an immigration judge to determine if they could stay in Haiti. United States.

Gyamfi called the administration’s response racist, cruel, inhumane and callous.

“We shouldn’t be kicking people out of this country, period,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There is enough space in this country for everyone.”

The government’s response to the border has been criticized and President Joe Biden has condemned the way Mounted Border Patrol agents have confronted Haitian migrants. “It sends the wrong message around the world,” Biden said last month. “It’s just not who we are.”

Mayorkas told reporters he had asked the Office of Inspector General to investigate the actions of law enforcement.

This week, State Department legal counsel Harold Koh resigned, calling the administration’s response to the deportations “a flawed policy.” His resignation comes two weeks after the resignation of the special envoy for Haiti following the expulsions

Gyamfi said humanitarian parole, a process for migrants to temporarily enter the country due to an emergency, should be granted at the border. And Congress, she said, should develop pathways to permanent protection for migrants.

But the Nevada Republican Party disagreed with Gyamfi.

“As Nevada’s jobs are scarce, its waters are drying up and the economy is in shambles, it is blatant to claim that we have the resources for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who cross the border each month,” said said executive director Jessica Hanson. “President Biden’s out-of-control border crisis is a humanitarian tragedy because of this administration’s open border policies and it’s unfortunate that Democrats from Nevada to Washington, DC are doing absolutely nothing to protect our communities.”

Most of the attendees on Tuesday appeared to be in Las Vegas to attend the National Immigrant Absorption Conference, but a few local activists also addressed the group.

“I want to let you know that Las Vegas is happy to have you here, and we absolutely stand in solidarity as we protect black migrants,” said Ender Austin III of Faith in Action Nevada.

Contact Blake Apgar at [email protected] or 702-387-5298. To follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. Associated Press and Review-Journal writer Gary Martin in Washington contributed to this report.

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