President Biden vowed Friday that Border Patrol agents who mistreated Haitian migrants crossing the Rio Grande “will pay” after an investigation, calling the scene at the border “horrible to see” in his first comments on actions by his administration that have drawn severe condemnation from many of his own supporters.
“It’s outrageous,” He said. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation, underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
The images of agents on horseback chasing, and in some cases using the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants, came as Mr. Biden’s administration moved to forcefully round up and deport more than 2,000 of the 15,000 migrants who gathered in a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas. Others were either moved to different parts of the nation or given court dates.
Critics have called these aggressive tactics racist and urged President Biden to stop flying Haitians out of the country. Mr. Biden’s remarks on Friday did not address the wider question of how migrants are being treated. However, he condemned how border agents treated them.
“It’s an embarrassment,” He said. “But beyond an embarrassment is dangerous, it’s wrong, it sends the wrong message around the world or sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”
He said that top officials from the Department of Homeland Security are conducting the investigation. This agency oversees U.S. Customs and Border Protection.