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Uproar in US over images of mounted border agents turning back Haitian migrants

i24NEWS - AFP

clock 2 min read

A US Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.
Paul Ratje/AFPA US Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.

US border patrol agents are struggling to stem a massive influx of undocumented migrants

Democratic US Senate leader Chuck Schumer and other top officials urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to end mass deportations of Haitian migrants, describing the policy as a "hateful and xenophobic" hangover from Donald Trump's administration.

"I urge President Biden... to immediately put a stop to these expulsions, and to end this Title 42 policy at our southern border. We cannot continue these hateful and xenophobic Trump policies that disregard our refugee laws," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

US border patrol agents are struggling to stem a massive influx of undocumented migrants, thousands of them from Haiti, in a mounting crisis for the Biden administration.

Pictures by AFP photographer Paul Ratje and video footage which spread quickly over social media appeared to show riders swinging their long reins to threaten migrants and push them back toward the river.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday that the authorities would investigate reports that Haitian migrants in Texas may have been abused by border patrol officers on horseback.

Mayorkas said the mounted officers were trying to manage the flow of hundreds of migrants crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico near Del Rio, Texas.

The Haitians, Mayorkas said, have been mistakenly told that they will be able to stay in the United States as refugees under "temporary protected status" (TPS) due to the recent political turmoil and a strong earthquake in Haiti.

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