President Biden signaled on Tuesday that his administration would address the situation at the southern border, where about 15,000 Haitian migrants fleeing the disaster have traveled to seek asylum.
“We’re going to bring it under control,” Biden told reporters during his visit to the United Nations when asked about the border footage that has sparked outrage in recent days.
Press secretary Jen Psaki also told reporters on Tuesday that Biden had been briefed on the emergency at the Del Rio Bridge, where migrants have set up camps. She said the president was also briefed on what she called “horrific” images and photos of the treatment of Haitian migrants by border patrol agents, which sparked an internal Security Department investigation. interior.
“[The president] think the pictures, pictures and photos are horrible. They do not represent who we are as a country, and he was happy to see the announcement of the inquiry. He certainly supports that, ”she said. “And obviously a decision will be made on the next steps once that is done. “
Photos and videos emerged this week of reporters and others documenting the events at the Del Rio Bridge of U.S. border patrol agents on horseback chasing Haitian migrants, including one holding what appeared to be a whip.
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “horrified to see the footage.” “We do not tolerate any mistreatment or abuse of a migrant, period,” he added. Mayorkas suggested on Monday that the agent was holding a long reins, not a whip. Reuters reported that some witnesses described the officers as holding lariats.
Last week, DHS also released a statement detailing its strategy to deal with the border upheaval, including placing 400 additional officers and agents in the Del Rio area, moving migrants from the region to other processing locations. and working country in the region to accept migrants. , among other actions.
Last week, NBC News reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was planning to increase deportation flights to Haiti. ICE plans to conduct eight deportation flights to Haiti and will then increase that number to 10 per week.