Biden Administration Suspends Use of Horses by Border Patrol Agents Amid Outrage
The Biden administration has halted the use of horses by Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas following outrage over the aggressive tactics they employed to disperse Haitian migrants.
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official announced on Thursday that they had temporarily ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio.
The official added that they would prioritize other methods for identifying individuals who might be in medical distress, CBS News reported.
Various news outlets had captured videos and images showing horse-mounted border patrol agents chasing and aggressively dispersing Haitian migrants in the area.
Some footage also showed agents swinging ropes used by horse riders while trying to block Haitian migrants trying to pass.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the decision to no longer use horses at the U.S.-Mexico border was made by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. She also called the images "horrible and horrific," NBC News reported.
Mayorkas recently said that the photos of the Haitian migrants and horse-mounted Border Patrol agents troubled him "profoundly."
Vice President Kamala Harris had also expressed her sentiments regarding the issue, saying she's deeply troubled about it. She added that human beings should never be treated that way.
Border Patrol Agents on Horses
Jen Psaki said they had taken specific actions regarding the "horrific photos" that "we're not going to stand for in this administration."
ABC News reported that the Border Patrol agents caught on the videos and photos were put on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley noted that "Haitian lives are Black lives," adding that officials must reverse course if they truly believe that Black lives matter. She also called on the Biden administration to stop deporting Haitian refugees back to Haiti.
The administration's rapid removal of migrants has limited their access to humanitarian protection under the law, according to Democrats and immigrant advocates. But a DHS official said Thursday that removals would continue.
Border Patrol Agent and Union Vice President Jon Anfinsen told ABC News that any use of whips, even on horses, would be out of line with agency policy.
Anfinsen said that the agents are highly trained along with their horses. He added that these agents were doing exactly what they were trained to do.
The photographer of the said images has also expressed his perspective on the issue. Photographer Paul Ratje told NPR that he thought the migrants "were quite scared," and there was "probably some panic" that made the Haitians ran around the horses.
Haitian Migrants in The U.S.
Two U.S. officials said that a lot of Haitian migrants in Texas are being released in the U.S. Many of them were released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days.
From Sunday to Tuesday, 10 flights had arrived in Haiti. The planes were designed to carry 135 passengers. Six of those flights had carried 713 migrants combined, according to NPR. U.S. officials did not say the exact count of migrants released in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the U.S. special envoy to Haiti had resigned. Daniel Foote, a career diplomat, blasted the Biden administration for deporting hundreds of migrants back to Haiti.
He said Haiti would be unable to support the surge of migrants returning to the country because it's a "collapsed state."
Foote added that he would not like to be associated with the U.S. inhumane and counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees, Reuters reported. He submitted his resignation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and it circulated publicly on Thursday.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: White House Says Apparent Use of Whips on Haitian Migrants Not Acceptable - From Reuters
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