Veep, Homeland Security Chief Condemn Mistreatment of Haitian Refugees, POTUS Orders Investigation
Vice President Kamala Harris and United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday condemned the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers at the Southern border following reports that emerged on Sunday showing Border Patrol agents chasing refugees while riding on horseback along the Rio Grande River in El Paso, Texas.
“Human beings should never be treated that way, and I was deeply troubled about it,” Harris said in remarks to CBS News.
Harris described the incidents as “horrible” and “has been tasked by President [Joe] Biden to address the root causes of migration to the southern U.S. border,” according to The Washington Post.
“Amid heavy criticism on Monday night, the Department of Homeland Security announced a formal inquiry into the episode, which it said Mayorkas directed after seeing the videos. Mayorkas said he has also directed the Office of Professional Responsibility, DHS’s internal oversight office, to send personnel to the area full-time,” The Washington Post noted.
Meanwhile, Mayorkas told CNN on Tuesday that he is “horrified” by what he saw. “I am going to let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly,” he added.
“One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child,” Mayorkas declared. “That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. Let me be quite clear: That is not acceptable.”
The secretary said that the agents’ behavior violated the department’s protocols.
“Any mistreatment or abuse of a migrant is unacceptable, is against Border Control policy, training and our department’s values,” Mayorkas said, vowing that the internal probe will be conducted “swiftly” and promptly.
“The public needs and deserves to know its results,” Mayorkas said, adding that DHS will respond “with full force based on the facts that we learn.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also castigated the confrontations during a Senate floor speech on Tuesday.
“This behavior must be addressed, and we must provide accountability,” Schumer said. “The images turn our stomach. It must be stopped.”
The story continues via The Washington Post.