US Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mallorcas said images of what appeared to be border guards on horseback collecting migrants trying to cross the southern border “terrified him”.
But he stopped short of describing the new influx of migrants there as a crisis.
“Any mistreatment or abuse of an immigrant is unacceptable,” Mayorkas told CNN, adding, “The images I saw really disturbed me.” But he did not explicitly say whether they reflected abuse or abuse, deferring instead to fulfilling a promise.
“This defies all the values we seek to inculcate in our people,” Mayorcas said, adding that the ministry will address the situation “with full force” after the investigation is over.
The Office of Professional Responsibility is leading the investigation, and will have staff on the ground full-time monitoring the situation in Del Rio, Texas.
The border town has seen an influx of thousands of Haitian immigrants fleeing a precarious situation in their homeland and attempting to enter the United States via Mexico.
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More than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants have been turned away from a camp in Del Rio, and Mallorcas predicted a “dramatic change” in the number of migrants there over the next two to four days as the deportation process continues.
The recent surge in immigration at the border has prompted Republicans to renew attacks on Democrats for what they say has failed to address a crisis at the US border.
But on CNN, Mallorcas refused to describe the situation as a “crisis”, saying only that it was a “heartbreaking situation” and a “tremendous challenge”.
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