An impromptu border camp was emptied of thousands of Haitian migrants Friday, with most remaining in the United States for now and others expelled on deportation flights or returned to Mexico.
This comes after images of U.S. border guards on horseback used reins like whips against Haitian migrants near their camp sparked widespread outrage across the U.S. over the past week.
Actions President Joe Biden condemned on Friday:
“To see people treated like they did. Horses nearly running them over. People being strapped. It's outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. (FLASH) There will be consequences. It's an embarrassment, it's beyond an embarrassment. It's dangerous, it's wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world, it sends the wrong message at home. It's simply not who we are.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said nearly 30,000 migrants had been encountered in Del Rio in the past two weeks.
More than 12,000 will have a chance to make their case for protection before a U.S. immigration judge, an estimated 8,000 voluntarily returned to Mexico, and 2,000 were expelled to Haiti. The fate of others detained is to be decided.
The Biden administration has faced backlash after the contentious use of expulsion flights back to Haiti.
Mexico has also sought to bus and fly Haitians to its southern states, far from the U.S. border.
The U.S. government in May extended temporary protection from deportation to Haitians in the United States, citing a political crisis, rights abuses, crime, and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare in the Western hemisphere's poorest country.