Footage of a mounted border patrol driving away migrants and a photo of a border guard grabbing a migrant by a T-shirt caused sharp criticism of the actions of the White House administration in relation to people seeking asylum in the United States.
The head of the US Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, defended the actions of his employees.
“We don’t know who the smugglers are and who the migrants are. Therefore, it is important that border patrol agents maintain a certain level of security,” he said.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called for an investigation of the incidents.
“The way these riders treat migrants is terrible, and I fully support a thorough investigation of what exactly is happening there. People should not be treated like this, and it deeply bothers me,” Kamala Harris said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that sending Haitians back to their homeland, where there is a high level of banditry, and the recent strong earthquake only contributes to chaos, “contradicts common sense.” Republican Senator Mitt Romney on Tuesday called the situation a “disaster.”
UN Human rights Representative Marta Hurtado also criticized the situation on the southern border of the United States.
“We are concerned about the images we have seen and the fact that all these migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have been sent to Port-au-Prince. We are seriously concerned about the fact that it seems there was no individual consideration of the cases of migrants,” Marta Hurtado stressed.
In recent weeks, a whole village of 15 thousand migrants, mainly from Haiti, including families with children, has formed on the southern border of the United States near the border bridge in the Mexican town of Ciudad Acuña, leading to the American city of Del Rio. People do not have enough drinking water, food, medicines, and hygiene products.
“We are in Mexico, and we want to cross the border, but it is very difficult. We are better off here than when we were on the other side. There are a lot of difficulties. We have no water, no food. We can’t buy anything. The children are sick; they have a high fever and the flu. That’s why we returned to the territory of Mexico,” said Nadia Joseph, a migrant from Haiti.
Another migrant, who refused to give her name, noted that she was disappointed with the actions of the American authorities.
“We moved to the United States and did not see what we expected. They treated us very badly – like garbage. We were not given food, water; there were no doctors. In a word, nothing. There are a lot of children and pregnant women. It is very difficult for us.”
Residents are trying to help migrants.
“We are distributing food. We don’t know exactly how much, but it’s enough to feed everyone. We do this on our own and do not represent any organization. We want to help,” a resident of Ciudad Acuña told reporters.
Human rights and charitable organizations point to the inhumane treatment of refugees by the United States.
“No one should be treated like this. The treatment by the authorities is unworthy, reprehensible, and violates human rights,” said Alberto Carrasco, director of the Casa del Migrante charity organization.
On Wednesday, with reference to two American officials, the Associated Press reported that some of the Haitian migrants who camped in a small border town of Texas are being let to the United States.
According to reports from other sources, starting from Wednesday, seven daily flights to Haiti with migrants are planned. The criteria for deciding who to bring back by plane and who to let in to the United States remain unclear.