Troubling images and videos of the horrific treatment of Haitian immigrants at the Rio Grande border crossing into the USA have surfaced. The images, showing border patrol agents on horseback chasing down immigrants, grabbing them, driving them into the river and more.
When Vice President Kamala Harris saw the photos, she reacted strongly. “Human beings should never be treated that way,” Ms. Harris said. “And I’m deeply troubled about it.” An investigation has been launched into the treatment of Haitian immigrants at the border, largely in thanks to these images coming into view.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, was asked if President Biden had seen the photos. She responded, saying, “He believes that the footage and photos are horrific. They don’t represent who we are as a country. And he was pleased to see the announcement of the investigation.”
The images of the harsh treatment of humans at our borders have called into question President Biden’s ongoing acceptance and implementation of former President Trump’s immigration policies. Former Housing and Urban Development secretary, Julian Castro stated, “[President] Donald Trump’s policy approach is becoming the default approach under the Biden administration. There are many, many people across the country losing patience with this administration’s approach to asylum seekers and immigrants.”
More than 1,000 people from Haiti have been flown back to Haiti since Sunday, with plans for seven more flights this week and beyond, with room for 135 immigrants on each deportation flight. Senator Chuck Schumer, New York, said in response to these plans, “I urge President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to immediately put a stop to these expulsions. We cannot continue these hateful and xenophobic Trump policies that disregard our refugee laws.”
Under Trump, a public health rule was put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, quickly expelling migrants and asylum seekers from the United States. The rule has been used more than 700,000 times since Biden came to power.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the situation “heartbreaking” and stated, “All migrants seeking asylum must be treated in accordance with the law and with basic decency. Any acts of aggression or violence cannot be tolerated and must be investigated.”
Condemnation for the continued application of the Trump-era racist policy continues, while activists seek change and call for immediate action.