Politics White House says horses will no longer be used by border officials in Del Rio
Photos capture desperation as Haitian migrants hope for asylum at Texas border
An estimated 10,000 migrants seeking U.S. asylum have converged at a temporary camp at the U.S.-Mexico border. © Photograph by Sergio Flores, The Washington Post via Getty Images CIUDAD ACUNA, MEX- SEPT 16: Migrants cross back and forth between the United States and Mexico at the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti have arrived in the area over night. Del Rio has seen an influx of migrants mostly from Haiti since early 2021.
WASHINGTON — Horses will no longer be used by border patrol officers in Del Rio, Texas following the release of riveting photographs that showed agents oncharging at Haitian migrants seeking to cross into the United States.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the decision was made by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, calling the images that sparked the change “horrible and horrific.”
Biden administration officials met with civil rights leaders Wednesday about the incident and the administration is continuing to investigate, Psaki said.
US nears plan for widescale expulsions of Haitian migrants
DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The Biden administration worked Saturday on plans to send many of the thousands of Haitian immigrants who have gathered in a Texas border city back to their Caribbean homeland, in a swift response to the huge influx of people who suddenly crossed the border from Mexico and congregated under and around a bridge. Details were yet to be finalized but would likely involve five to eight flights per day that would begin Sunday, according to an official with direct knowledge of the plans who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The change follows days of criticism over the Biden administration's handling of the more than 15,000 Haitian migrants who have arrived at the Texas border in recent weeks. The official response to what has quickly turned into a humanitarian crisis led the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, toover what he called the administration's "inhumane" treatment of Haitian migrants.
"With deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes, I resign from my position as Special Envoy for Haiti, effective immediately," he said in his resignation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, obtained by NBC News.
Psaki said Foote had "had ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure, he never did so,” but that there had been "disagreements" within the administration over the policy response to the Haitian migrants.
A widely circulated picture by photographer Paul Ratje showed an agent on horseback grabbing a migrant as the man tried to cross into the United States from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on Sunday. Other video showed agents chasing the migrants on horseback and waving what appeared to be leather reins or a lariat, whipping it towards the migrants.
Live updates: Biden vows action for treatment of Haitian migrants; Mayorkas says migrants gone from bridge camp .
Biden vowed action in his first extensive remarks on border patrol agents on horses who chased and seemed to whip Haitian migrants with their reins.“It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. They will be investigated. There will be consequences,” Biden said in response to a reporter's question at the White House.