WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in U.S. Congress, released the following statement on the recent treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border:

“The inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants at the border is abhorrent and in clear contradiction to the values we strive for as a nation. The cruel images of agents rounding up black migrants on horseback using reins as whips are appalling and serve as a painful reminder of an ugly about very much pervasive legacy in this country of using fear to justify oppression, discrimination, and outright violence against people of color. Our responsibility to protect our borders is sacrosanct, but we also have a fundamental obligation to respect the humanity and dignity of all those seeking to enter the U.S. and those we are seeking to remove. These two obligations are not incompatible.

“It’s time for the U.S. to lead an international coalition that can help Haiti rebuild and recover from compounding disasters of catastrophic proportions, as well as address the country’s political instability, rising levels of violent crime, and food insecurity so that the people of Haiti can build a prosperous future in their home. As part of this effort, we must listen to the needs and demands of the Haitian people, and not just those who hold power in the country.”