Snejana Farberov, Daily Mail, September 24, 2021
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed on Friday that nearly 30,000 Haitian migrants have been encountered on the US-Mexico border as they try to enter the country.
Additionally he noted that the camp under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, which serves the length of the border, has been emptied.
‘Nearly 30,000 migrants have been encountered at Del Rio since September 9 with the highest number one time reaching approximately 15,000,’ he said at the daily White House press briefing.
Meanwhile the BBC reported nearly 19,000 mostly Haitian migrants are heading towards the US. They are in Colombia waiting to cross the border to Panama, Colombian officials say.
But, Mayorkas noted, ‘today, we have no migrants remaining in the camp.’
He revealed that 2,000 have been expelled on 17 flights, 8,000 have returned to Haiti voluntarily, 12,4000 are having their cases heard and 5,000 being processed
That leaves 2,600 missing. Officials have said some have returned to Mexico.
It comes after President Joe Biden on Friday vowed the border agents on horseback who tried to stop migrants crossing the into the US will ‘pay’ and face the ‘consequences’ of their actions.
The president called the photos of agents on horseback intercepting migrants ‘horrible to see’.
However the photographer who took the controversial images said the border agents did not whip the Haitian migrants – after it was wrongly and widely reported that they did.
Biden, who failed to address how to solve the border crisis in his remarks, said: ‘It was horrible what to see, as you saw, to see people treat like they did – horses running them over, people being strapped.
‘It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. There will be investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment.
‘But beyond an embarrassment is dangerous, it’s wrong, it sends the wrong message around the world, and sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.
He was slammed by Meghan McCain in her DailyMail.com column who blamed him for encouraging the 15,000 Haitian migrants to come to the US.
‘But if Biden started actively sending migrants home, he would offend The Squad and their progressive constituencies whose wrath seems to terrify him,’ she said.
Photographer Paul Ratje, who took the images, said he didn’t see anyone being whipped.
‘I’ve never seen them whip anyone,’ Ratje told KTSM-TV. The still images actually depict the mounted agents swinging the long reins of their horses, not holding whips.
‘He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture,’ said Ratje, who shot the photos from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande river.
It came as Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday compared the images to the brutality of slavery.
Val Verde County Judge Lewis Owens, who has been keeping tabs on the number of people in the encampment, said only ‘stragglers’ remained of up to 15,000 people who camped on the banks of the Rio Grande bordering Mexico a week ago.