Deviating from their usual Biden boosting on Tuesday, the hosts of The View expressed how “disappointed” they were in the president’s handling of the thousands of Haitian migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
While the White House has predictably been criticized by conservatives for its response to a surge of migrants at the southern border, progressives and immigrant advocacy groups have also slammed the administration for working to swiftly deport the asylum-seeking refugees. On top of that, the White House was also forced to address the “horrific” images of Border Patrol agents on horseback confronting Haitian migrants as they attempted to cross the Texas border.
“Now Haiti was just ravaged by an earthquake, and the [Haitian] president’s assassination has left the country in chaos, but the president is still flying migrants back there,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg lamented to The View panel on Tuesday. “Is this beyond an immigration issue? Is it a full-blown human rights crisis? If it is, why aren't we treating it like one?”
Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina—serving as the show’s resident conservative guest-host in the wake of Meghan McCain’s departure—wondered why the Biden administration seemingly wasn’t ready to handle the situation.
“Why aren’t you talking about Haiti? Why aren’t you doing anything to help Haiti?” Fiorina exclaimed. “Why weren’t you prepared for this? This shouldn’t be a surprise. An earthquake, a coup, a pandemic.”
She added: “Of course, people are leaving. Why is it a shock that 15,000 people show up at the border? We’ve got to help them where they are. And the administration should have been, I think, better prepared, and I wish they would talk about it.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin, meanwhile, suggested that the “reason we’re not seeing more help” for the Haitian migrants is “because they’re Haitian,” adding that the nation and its people have been demonized for a long time. She also questioned why the White House had committed to taking in tens of thousands of Afghan refugees while quickly deporting Haitians.
“I’m not saying they shouldn’t be brought here because they should be, right?” Hostin rhetorically asked. “That is the promise of this country, but if you can bring 95,000 Afghans here, why are you sending 86 Haitians back on an airplane to a country that has been devastated?”
She further noted that the White House was largely relying on Title 42—a public health law the Trump administration began relying on last year to turn away asylum-seeking migrants at the border. While Biden promised a more humane immigration approach when entering office, his administration has continued to use Title 42 to justify mass deportations.
Hostin’s colleague Sara Haines also expressed disgust over the images of the Border Patrol agents, insisting that the way they’ve treated Haitian migrants is “what you do if an animal were infesting your yard.”
“The way people are being treated on that to me is absolutely more disturbing and a little bit more hopeless than I want to feel about this,” Haines added.
Ultimately, Hostin argued, the Biden administration sending Haitian refugees back to Haiti violated international law. United Nations protocols prohibit countries from sending migrants back to their home countries when they have fears for their life, she said.
“And what other life-threatening fear can you have other than an earthquake, a coup, lack of food, lack of water?” Hostin explained. “I mean, it fits the bill, and so I, you know, I’m so disappointed. So disappointed in the Biden administration today. So very disappointed.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that while there were claims the Border Patrol agents whipped migrants with horse reins or ropes, an agency investigation has found no one was struck. However, the investigation found that agents used inappropriate force and language, and one agent admitted “twirling these split reins as a distancing tactic.”