Images that appeared to show Border Patrol personnel whipping people seeking refuge at the US-Mexico border outraged White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday.
Officials in the administration were aware of the situation, according to Psaki, and it was “awful to watch.” People were also “understandably incensed” at the potential that law officers used whips or other similar devices against individuals gathering near Del Rio, Texas, many of whom were from Haiti, she said.
Psaki stated, “I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it’s acceptable or suitable.”
The White House press secretary also stated that she “can’t conceive what situation would be suitable” and that the White House was gathering further information.
If whips were used as a coercive tactic, she stated, “of course they should never be able to do it again.”
“The footage is definitely horrific,” Psaki remarked. “I don’t have any more information on it, so let me take a chance and see if there’s anything further to say.”
However, Psaki would clarify whether the Biden administration would halt efforts to deport Haitian migrants back to their homeland, as some immigration groups and Democrats have demanded, and prevent others from attempting to enter the United States.
She stated, “We are continually assessing circumstances on the ground” in Haiti. “Obviously, our goal here is not only to handle the severe situations in Del Rio but also to continue to engage with Haitian officials to improve conditions and provide support. All of these things are being worked on at the same time.”
After the assassination of the country’s president in July and a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake in August, Haiti has been in turmoil in recent months.
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