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U.S. Border Patrol will not use horses in Del Rio, Texas, after outrage over remedy of Haitian migrants

A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to cease a Haitian migrant from coming 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 Photographs

The Biden administration has halted Border Patrol brokers’ use of horses in Del Rio, Texas, amid public outcry over video and images exhibiting mounted brokers grabbing Haitian migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. 

Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas instructed civil rights leaders Thursday that the administration “would not be utilizing horses in Del Rio,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters throughout a briefing.

The Division of Homeland Safety didn’t reply to a request for remark.

When requested why President Joe Biden has not publicly condemned the pictures, certainly one of which reveals an agent on horseback grabbing a migrant by his shirt, Psaki mentioned the change in coverage demonstrates that the president finds the pictures “horrific.”

“I feel individuals ought to take away that his actions clarify how horrible and horrific these pictures are, together with an investigation, together with a change of coverage, together with conveying clearly that this isn’t acceptable, and he is not going to face for this within the Biden-Harris administration,” she mentioned.

Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Monday rejected allegations that “whips” have been utilized by brokers in a compilation of pictures and movies that fueled an outcry on social media. They mentioned the brokers have been wielding reins to manage their horses.

Nonetheless, the pictures nonetheless drew sharp criticism from Democratic lawmakers this week.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., used Twitter to denounce the Border Patrol’s actions.

“It does not matter if a Democrat or Republican is President, our immigration system is designed for cruelty in the direction of and dehumanization of immigrants,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned in a Twitter put up. “Immigration shouldn’t be a criminal offense, and its criminalization is a comparatively latest invention. It is a stain on our nation.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., echoed this sentiment in her personal Twitter put up Monday.

“These are human rights abuses, plain and easy. Merciless, inhumane, and a violation of home and worldwide legislation,” Omar said within the put up. “This wants a course correction and the issuance of a transparent directive on the right way to humanely course of asylums seekers at our border.”

A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback makes use of the reins as he tries to cease Haitian migrants from coming 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 Photographs

Vice President Kamala Harris instructed reporters Tuesday that she was “deeply troubled” by the images and absolutely supported a “thorough investigation,” as a result of “human beings ought to by no means be handled that method.”

The coverage change comes because the Biden administration faces backlash for its dealing with of the greater than 10,000 Haitian migrants who’ve tried to cross the Rio Grande to enter the U.S. from Mexico since mid-September.

Psaki mentioned 3,206 Haitian nationals have been moved to Customs and Border Safety custody to both be positioned in removing proceedings or expelled by way of Title 42, a Trump-era well being legislation that denies sure migrants the chance to use for asylum.

The Biden administration just lately appealed a federal judge’s order to cease the usage of Title 42, a lot to the dismay of immigration advocates and progressive Democrats who had hoped the coverage would come to an finish.

A complete of 1,401 Haitians have additionally been despatched again to Haiti by way of repatriation flights that started Sunday, Psaki added. Fewer than 5,000 migrants stay below the bridge in Del Rio on Thursday, she mentioned.

The administration’s response to what has turn out to be each a border and humanitarian disaster led the U.S. particular envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, to resign Thursday over what he known as “inhumane” remedy of Haitian migrants. 

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

Psaki mentioned Foote had “ample alternative to lift considerations about migration throughout his tenure” however “he by no means did so.” She added that there had been “disagreements” inside the Biden administration over its coverage response to the surge of Haitian migrants.


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