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Biden condemns Border Patrol therapy of Haitian migrants, vows brokers will face penalties

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks within the State Eating Room of the White Home in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

President Joe Biden on Friday condemned Border Patrol’s therapy of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas, calling their actions “outrageous” and vowing the brokers accountable will probably be punished. 

“It is horrible what you noticed. To see individuals like they did, with horses, working them over, individuals being strapped, it is outrageous,” Biden mentioned on the White Home, referencing a collection of images and video exhibiting mounted Border Patrol brokers grabbing Haitian migrants making an attempt to cross into the U.S. 

“I promise you, these individuals can pay. There’s an investigation underway proper now and there will probably be penalties,” he mentioned. 

It was the president’s first substantive touch upon the scenario in Del Rio, Texas, the place greater than 10,000 Haitian migrants have tried to enter the U.S. from Mexico since mid-September. 

His administration’s dealing with of the inflow of migrants has drawn sharp criticism from immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers after the images and video depicting Border Patrol brokers’ harsh therapy surfaced this week. 

Amid public outcry, the administration announced Thursday that it was halting brokers’ use of horses in Del Rio, Texas.

Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Monday rejected allegations that whips had been utilized by brokers in pictures and movies that fueled an outcry on social media. They mentioned the brokers had been wielding reins to regulate their horses.

United States Border Patrol brokers on horseback attempt to cease Haitian migrants from getting into an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande close to the Acuna Del Rio Worldwide Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.

Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Pictures

Biden mentioned he took accountability for the disaster unfolding on the border and the actions of Border Patrol depicted within the images and video.

“In fact I take accountability,” Biden mentioned. “I am President.”

 “It is harmful. It is incorrect. It sends the incorrect message world wide and sends the incorrect message at dwelling,” he continued. “It is merely not who we’re.”

The administration’s deportation of Haitian migrants led the U.S. particular envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, to resign Thursday over what he known as inhumane therapy. 

“Our coverage method to Haiti stays deeply flawed, and my suggestions have been ignored and dismissed,” Foote mentioned in a resignation letter Wednesday obtained by NBC Information.

Greater than 3,000 Haitian nationals have been moved to Customs and Border Safety custody to both be positioned in removing proceedings or expelled by means of Title 42, a Trump-era well being legislation that denies sure migrants the chance to use for asylum, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned Thursday. 

And a complete of 1,401 Haitians have been flown again to Haiti on repatriation flights that started Sunday, leaving fewer than 5,000 Haitian migrants below a bridge in Del Rio.

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report

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