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U.S. Border Patrol will now 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 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

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

Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advised civil rights leaders Thursday that the administration “would now not be utilizing horses in Del Rio,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki advised 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, one in every of which reveals an agent on horseback grabbing a migrant by his shirt, Psaki stated the change in coverage demonstrates that the president finds the pictures “horrific.”

“I feel folks 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 stated.

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

Nevertheless, 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 would 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 stated in a Twitter submit. “Immigration shouldn’t be against the law, 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 submit Monday.

“These are human rights abuses, plain and easy. Merciless, inhumane, and a violation of home and worldwide legislation,” Omar said within the submit. “This wants a course correction and the issuance of a transparent directive on how one can 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 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

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

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 stated 3,206 Haitian nationals have been moved to Customs and Border Safety custody to both be positioned in elimination proceedings or expelled via 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 via repatriation flights that started Sunday, Psaki added. Fewer than 5,000 migrants stay beneath the bridge in Del Rio on Thursday, she stated.

The administration’s response to what has turn into 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 method to Haiti stays deeply flawed, and my suggestions have been ignored and dismissed,” Foote stated in a resignation letter Wednesday obtained by NBC Information.

Psaki stated Foote had “ample alternative to lift issues 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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