Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Officials: All migrants are gone from Texas border camp

Published:Friday | September 24, 2021 | 4:45 PM
A bulldozer is seen next to a mound of debris while crews clear an area where migrants, many from Haiti, were encamped along the Del Rio International Bridge, Friday, September 24, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — No migrants remained Friday at the Texas border encampment where almost 15,000 people — most of them Haitians — had converged just days earlier seeking asylum, local and federal officials said.

It's a dramatic change from last Saturday, when the number peaked as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration's policies and misinformation on social media converged at the border crossing connecting Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

At a news conference, Del Rio Mayor Buno Lozano called it “phenomenal news.”

Many face expulsion because they are not covered by protections recently extended by the Biden administration to the more than 100,000 Haitian migrants already in the US, citing security concerns and social unrest in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

The devastating 2020 earthquake forced many of them from their homeland.

The United States and Mexico appeared eager to end the increasingly politicised humanitarian situation that prompted the resignation of the US special envoy to Haiti and widespread outrage after images emerged of border agents manoeuvring their horses to forcibly block and move migrants.

On Friday, President Joe Biden said the way the agents used their horses was “horrible” and that “people will pay” as a result. The agents have been assigned to administrative duties while the administration investigates.

“There will be consequences,” Biden told reporters.

“It's an embarrassment, but it's beyond an embarrassment — it's 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.”

Later, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke cautiously about the pending investigation into the use of horses.

Asked about the discrepancy, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “was not prejudging an outcome.

He was speaking from the heart.” She said he is not interfering with any investigation.

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