‘Appalled’: Border Patrol agents’ treatment of Haitian migrants criticized by former officials
But President Joe Biden hasn’t spoken personally on the images from Del Rio, Texas, where a surge of Haitian migrants crossed the border and set up a makeshift camp under a bridge.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified this week before Congress about the images.
Department of Homeland Security officials and White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Thursday that the use of horse patrols had been suspended temporarily in Del Rio.
“I can also convey to you that the secretary also conveyed to civil rights leaders, earlier this morning, that we would no longer be using horses in Del Rio, so that is something a policy change that has been made in response,” Psaki said.
Despite threats of repatriation to Haiti, migrant families survive in a camp beside Rio Grande
— Rick Rouan
Hours after news broke that the Biden administration’s special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, had resigned, State Department spokesman Ned Price disputed Foote’s claim that the career diplomat’s recommendations were ignored.
“There have been multiple senior-level policy conversations on Haiti, where all proposals, including those led by Special Envoy Foote, were fully considered in a rigorous and transparent policy process,” Price said Thursday. “Some of those proposals were determined to be harmful to our commitment to the promotion of democracy in Haiti and were rejected during the policy process. For him to say his proposals were ignored is simply false.
Price added that in debating what advice to give President Joe Biden, “No ideas are ignored, but not all ideas are good ideas.”
He said Foote had quit and “mischaracterized” what happened. “He failed to take advantage of ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure and chose to resign instead.”
– Katie Wadington
Mexican State Police guarded the south bank of the Rio Grande on Thursday while Texas State Troopers formed along the river’s north bank as Haitian migrants were left to decide whether to cross into the United States.
Aerial photos shot by the El Paso Times show about a dozen Mexican State Police vehicles spaced out along a path that runs alongside the Rio Grande near where a surge of Haitian migrants have been crossing into Del Rio.
On the U.S. side of the river, about four times as many Texas State Trooper vehicles held a tight formation near a bridge where migrants have set up a makeshift camp.
— Rick Rouan
The park entrance was blocked, the Associated Press reported, and a helicopter flew overhead on Thursday morning. State police vehicles spaced about 30 feet apart and a fence line funneled migrants to the crossing point they had been using to enter the U.S.
— Lauren Villagran, El Paso Times, and the Associated Press
WASHINGTON – A career U.S. diplomat to Haiti has resigned over the Biden administration’s “inhumane” decision tosend thousands of Haitians attempting to enter the U.S. back to the island nation.
Ambassador Daniel Foote, a Special Envoy for Haiti, wrote in his resignation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he could not be associated with the government’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.” He has been in his post for two months.
Foote added that the U.S. approach to Haiti “remains deeply flawed,” and that his advice has been ignored.
The move comes days after jarring images circulated from the Texas border with Mexico, where thousands of Haitian migrants arrived after migrating through other Latin American countries.
“The people of Haiti, mired in poverty, hostage to terror, kidnappings, robberies, and massacres of armed gangs and suffering under a corrupt government with gang alliances, simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy,” Foote wrote.
Foote, who has spent his career in the Foreign Service, was appointed as Special Envoy in July.
— Matthew Brown