Donald Trump praised horse-riding Border Patrol agents who had accused a group of Haitian migrants at the US border with Mexico.
The former president claimed the agents were doing “one hell of a ruckus” after footage emerged that showed riders swinging long bridles toward migrants on the ground and holding others in Del Rio, Texas.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercas said on Friday he was “horrified” by the photos and said the incident would be investigated at the “highest level”. President Joe Biden said the agents’ behavior was “outrageous” and that they would face consequences.
Addressing supporters at a rally in the town of Perry, Georgia, Mr Trump referred to the incident and suggested that the investigation into the behavior of the riders was inappropriate.
During his speech, Mr Trump made the baseless claim that migrants “have crossed our borders in recent days laughing at the faces of our Border Patrol agents”.
Referring to the Biden administration’s investigation into the agents’ behavior, he continued: “They’re going after horsemen instead of people who came illegally… isn’t that unbelievable?
“They just put them under observation and they’re in big trouble. Most people would say they’re doing one hell of a thing.”
Mr Trump said: “If I were president this would never have happened.”
Elsewhere in his speech, Mr Trump claimed the recent surge of migrants at the border represented an “invasion” – prompting crowds to “build a wall”. Mr Trump said Mr Biden “could dismantle that wall in a month” if he wanted to.
Thousands of Haitian expatriates have gathered at the Del Rio Port of Entry in recent weeks. US Customs and Border Protection said on Saturday a temporary camp set up at the border crossing was approved.
A significant number of migrants trying to enter the country are being deported under Title 42 – a policy that began under the Trump administration. It allows the US to deport migrants without allowing them to apply for asylum if they pose a public health risk.
Many migrants face expulsion because they are not covered by the protections recently given to the more than 100,000 Haitian immigrants already in the US by the Biden administration. A devastating 2010 earthquake forced many people from their homeland.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the US government expelled 2,324 Haitians from 21 flights to Haiti from Sunday to Friday.
Meanwhile, DHS confirmed last week that it would be suspending the use of horse patrol in response to the Del Rio incident.
The US Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility is leading the investigation into the incident, which is expected to conclude this coming week.
Democratic California Representative Maxine Waters said during a press briefing Wednesday: “What we saw takes us back hundreds of years. What we saw was worse than what we saw in slavery.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Donald Trump