Representative Tony Gonzalez praised US Border Patrol personnel who were shown on video flogging Haitian refugees.
Texas Republican Rep. Tony Gonzalez praised US Border Patrol personnel who were seen on camera going on horseback and whipping Haitian migrants attempting to reach the US-Mexico border.
Gonzalez said that the officers were “performing God’s work” by attempting to stop the migrants from crossing the river near Del Rio, Texas, on Sunday. Thousands of Haitian migrants seeking asylum in the United States are reportedly sleeping in a filthy improvised refugee camp beneath a Del Rio bridge.
In a Tuesday interview with CNN, Gonzalez said of the officers, “It’s a really difficult situation, and they’re doing God’s work, battling everything they can.” Under the current circumstances, he claims, “chaos” is unavoidable.
“The last thing any of us wants to see is anyone, including migrants, being mistreated,” he said, “but when you have tens of thousands of people and only a few hundred Border Patrol agents, it creates a really dire scenario.”
According to Haitian migrants, they were compelled to leave the camp in order to get water and food for themselves and their families, which included many young children. Many of them crossed the river into Mexico in search of food, then attempted to return to the camp.
September 21, 2021 – The Recount (@therecount)
The photos of Border Patrol officials lashing and yelling at barefoot migrants carrying food bags were described as “horrific” and “terrible” by White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said that it had launched an investigation into the migrants’ treatment.
“The footage is extremely troubling,” the agency said in a statement. “The facts acquired from the comprehensive investigation, which will be conducted quickly, will define the proper disciplinary steps to be taken.”
20 September 2021 NBC News (@NBCNews)
-@johnholman100 -John Holman (@johnholman100) -John Holman (@johnholman100) 20 September 2021
Agents on horseback used their reins as whips as they charged the migrants and attempted to drive them back into the river, according to video footage obtained by Al Jazeera English. “This is why your country is garbage because you utilize your ladies for this,” one agent said at a gathering of men and women.
Haiti is in the midst of a humanitarian and political crisis. Jovenel Mose, the president, was slain in July when gunmen attacked his home. Since then, the country’s top prosecutor has stated that there is proof the acting prime minister was involved in the assassination. Meanwhile, the United Nations reports that the deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti last month, killing over 2,000 people, affected 800,000 people.
On the banks of the Rio Grande, one Haitian migrant told an Al Jazeera reporter, “Everyone knows what we Haitians are going through.” “There is no such thing as a president. There is a lot of crime. Students are unable to attend classes. There isn’t any employment available. The economy is in decline. That will not be tolerated.”
Thousands of Haitian migrants have been deported to the United States, despite the Haitian government’s pleas for a “humanitarian pause” on such deportations.
Representatives Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, have termed the US officers’ actions human rights crimes.
“Simply put, these are violations of human rights. Cruel, inhumane, and illegal under both national and international law, “On Monday, Omar sent out a tweet. “A course correction is required, as well as the release of a clear mandate on how to process asylum seekers humanely at our border.”
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