August 10, 2022

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Biden condemns Border Patrol brokers’ remedy of Haitian migrants, vows they’ll face penalties

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

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the U.S. Border Patrol’s remedy of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas, calling the conduct of brokers on horseback “outrageous” and vowing they’ll face penalties for his or her actions. 

“It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” Biden stated on the White House, referencing a sequence of pictures and video exhibiting mounted Border Patrol brokers grabbing Haitian migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. 

“I promise you, those people will pay. There is an investigation underway right now and there will be consequences,” he stated. 

It was the president’s first substantive touch upon the state of affairs in Del Rio, the place roughly 30,000 Haitian migrants have tried to enter the U.S. from Mexico since Sept. 9.

Vice President Kamala Harris, in an interview with ABC’s “The View” on Friday, in contrast the brokers’ remedy of Haitian migrants to the oppression of indigenous individuals and African Americans throughout slavery.

“As we all know it evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people of our country, has been used against African Americans during times of slavery,” Harris stated.

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

Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Images

“There needs to be consequences and accountability. Human beings should not be treated that way,” the vp stated, noting that she absolutely helps the investigation being performed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the division’s secretary, stated at a White House press briefing Friday that brokers concerned within the occasions captured within the pictures and movies have been assigned to administrative duties and aren’t interacting with migrants whereas the investigation is being performed.

When requested about Biden’s assertion vowing to punish the brokers, Mayorkas stated he’s going to “let the investigation run its course.”

“I know the president was echoing sentiments of the American public response, images and what those images suggest, but I want to speak to the fact that this investigation will be based on facts that the investigators learn,” Mayorkas stated.

The Biden administration’s dealing with of the inflow of migrants has drawn sharp criticism from immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers. Amid public outcry, the administration on Thursday halted brokers’ use of horses in Del Rio.

However, Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Monday rejected allegations that whips had been utilized by brokers within the photographs and movies that fueled public outrage. They stated the brokers had been wielding reins to manage their horses.

Biden stated he took accountability for the disaster unfolding on the border and the actions of the Border Patrol depicted within the photographs.

“Of course I take responsibility,” Biden stated. “I’m president.”

“It’s dangerous. It’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world and sends the wrong message at home,” he stated. “It’s simply not who we are.”

The U.S. particular envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned Thursday over the Biden administration’s Haiti coverage after solely two months within the place. In a scathing letter, Foote condemned the administration’s deportations of Haitian migrants as inhumane.

“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed,” Foote stated in his resignation letter Wednesday obtained by NBC News.

As of Friday morning, the border camp in Del Rio the place 1000’s of largely Haitian migrants had gathered had been absolutely cleared, in keeping with Mayorkas. Just Thursday, the Biden administration stated lower than 5,000 remained on the camp.

Approximately 2,000 Haitian nationals have been despatched again to Haiti on a complete of 17 repatriation flights organized by the Department of Homeland Security, Mayorkas stated. 

An estimated 8,000 returned to Mexico voluntarily and greater than 5,000 are being processed by the Department of Homeland Security to find out if they need to be positioned in immigration elimination proceedings or expelled by way of a public well being regulation often called Title 42, Mayorkas stated. 

Approximately 12,400 migrants will ultimately have their instances heard by an immigration decide who will decide whether or not they are going to be deported or stay within the U.S., he added.

Title 42 is a controversial provision, first applied by the Trump administration through the coronavirus pandemic, that denies sure migrants the chance to use for asylum.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated Title 42 will stay in impact till there is no longer a hazard of people that aren’t U.S. residents bringing Covid-19 into the nation after they cross the border. Unaccompanied youngsters are exempt from Title 42.

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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