Border patrol will not use horses in Del Rio after outrage over treatment of Haitians

Border patrol will not use horses in Del Rio after outrage over treatment of Haitians

A mounted United States Border Patrol officer attempts to prevent a Haitian migrant from entering a camp on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acua del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, September 19, 2021.

Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Images

The Biden administration has suspended border patrol agents from using horses in Del Rio, Texas amid public outcry over videos and photos showing mounted agents trying to ferry Haitian migrants across to the United States. United

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercas told civil rights leaders Thursday morning that the administration “will no longer use horses in Del Rio,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said , to journalists during a briefing.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to the comments.

When asked why President Joe Biden had not publicly condemned the footage, one of which shows an officer holding a migrant on horseback by his shirt, Psaki said it reflected a change in policy. that the president finds the images “horrible”.

“I think what people should take away is that their actions make it clear how horrible and gruesome these images are, including an investigation, including a change in policy, to explicitly state Include that this is not acceptable, and he will not stand it. in the Biden-Harris administration, ”he said.

Meyerkas and border patrol chief Raul Ortiz on Monday dismissed allegations that a “whip” was used by officers in a compilation of images and videos, causing an uproar on social media. He said officers were in charge of controlling their horses.

However, the images again drew heavy criticism from Democratic lawmakers this week.

A mounted United States Border Patrol officer attempts to prevent a Haitian migrant from entering a camp on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acua del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, September 19, 2021.

Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Images

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took to Twitter to condemn the actions of the border patrol.

“It doesn’t matter whether a Democrat or a Republican is the president, our immigration system is designed to brutalize and dehumanize immigrants,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Twitter post. “Immigration shouldn’t be a crime, and criminalizing it is a relatively recent invention. It is a stain on our country.

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota echoed the sentiment in his own Twitter post on Monday.

“It is a violation of human rights, pure and simple. It is cruel, inhuman and a violation of national and international law, ”Omar said. noted in the post. “This requires a correction of course and a clear directive on how to treat asylum seekers humanely at our border.”

A United States Border Patrol officer on horseback uses the reins to prevent Haitian migrants from entering an encampment off the Rio Grande coast near the Acua del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on 19 September 2021.

Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Tuesday she was “deeply disturbed” by the photos and supported a “full investigation” because “humans should never be treated like this.”

The policy shift comes as the Biden administration faces backlash over its handling of more than 10,000 Haitian migrants who have attempted to cross the Rio Grande into the United States from Mexico since mid-September.

Psaki said 3,206 Haitian citizens have been taken into custody at customs and border protection, either placed in removal proceedings or deported under Title 42, a law relating to the health of the nation. Trump era that allows some migrants to refuse the possibility of seeking asylum.

The Biden administration recently appealed a federal judge’s order to suspend the use of Title 42, much to the dismay of immigration advocates and progressive Democrats who had hoped the policy would lapse.

A total of 1,401 Haitians were also repatriated to Haiti via repatriation flights that began on Sunday, Saki said. He said less than 5,000 migrants remained under the Del Rio bridge on Thursday.

The administration’s response to both the border and the humanitarian crisis prompted US special envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote to resign Thursday in what he called “inhuman” treatment of Haitian migrants.

“Our political approach to Haiti is deeply flawed and my recommendations have been ignored and rejected,” Foote said in a resignation letter obtained by NBC News on Wednesday.

Psaki said Foote had “ample opportunity to voice his concerns about migration during his tenure” but “he never did.” He said there was “disagreement” within the Biden administration over its policy response to the increasing number of Haitian immigrants.

.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here