The Open Society Foundations announced it will provide $1.3 million in grants to organizations helping Haitian and other Black asylum seekers who have been displaced, detained or expelled during the U.S. southern border crisis this fall.
Organizations that will receive the funds include the Haitian Bridge Alliance, UndocuBlack Network, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project. The money will also help provide legal services to Haitian asylum seekers arriving at the southern border and support advocacy to protect their rights, Open Society officials said in a Nov. 1 press release.
Open Society Foundations are the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance and human rights. Its support is an emergency response to an ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis, including the “dehumanizing abuses” at the Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge, the group says. In September, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents met some of the thousands of Haitians migrants at the crossing with violence, some on horseback, wielding the reins on their horses like whips.
“The treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border is unconscionable and a stain on our country’s standing across the region and among Black Americans,” said Alexander Soros, deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, in the release. “These policies must change, accountability must be served, and the basic dignity and rights of the tired and poor, yearning to be free, are honored here.”
This funding follows on Open Society’s earlier announcement of $2.5 million in emergency relief for Haiti in the aftermath of an Aug. 14 earthquake that claimed more than 2,000 lives and left hundreds of others missing.