Agents accused of whipping migrants assigned to desk duties, DHS says

Agents accused of whipping migrants assigned to desk duties, DHS says
‘The individuals who are the subject of the investigation are on administrative duties currently,’ says DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

The border officials who appeared to whip and corral Haitian migrants this week have been reassigned to administrative duties, département de la Sécurité intérieure secrétaire Alejandro Mayorkas dit.

“The individuals who are the subject of the investigation are on administrative duties currently,” Mr Mayorkas tweeté. “They are not executing their other law enforcement duties and they are not to be interacting with other migrants at this time during the pendency of the investigation.”

Shocking photos et vidéos emerged earlier this week from Del Rio, Texas, where thousands of Haitian refugees have arrived seeking asylum. In disturbing footage by Al Jazeera and Reuters, border officials on horseback appeared to use reins or whips to forcefully drive them back.

Mardi, Mr Mayorkas condemned those tactics and said they would be investigated.

“We do not condone, we do not tolerate any mistreatment of any migrant,” Mr Mayorkas wrote. “The actions we’re taking are swift and strong, and we will take further action as the facts adduced in the investigation compel.”

Vice President Kamala Harris has also denounced the violence.

“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback, treating human beings the way they were, is horrible,” Ms Harris said on Tuesday. “Human beings should never be treated that way and I am deeply troubled by it and I’ll also be talking with Secretary Mayorkas later today about it.”

One police union, pendant ce temps, has defended the Border Patrol officers, arguing that they were using reins, not whips.

“For all you Twitter warriors out there: these are NOT whips. Et non, Border Patrol agents are NOT ‘whipping’ people," a écrit the National Fraternal Order of Police. “They are REINSStay with us here, like a steering wheel is used to drive a car, the reins are used to ‘drive’ the horse.”

Tensions have been high along the US-Mexico border, où plus de 12,000 migrants, beaucoup d'entre eux haïtiens, ont mis en place un camp de réfugiés de fortune alors qu'ils fuient la situation politique en voie de désintégration de leur pays d'origine et demandent l'asile.

Le dimanche, les États-Unis ont commencé à faire sortir les migrants des camps par des vols de retour vers la capitale haïtienne Port-au-Prince, où le pays a été ébranlé après un tremblement de terre massif en août et l'assassinat de son président en juillet.

« Ce qui me tue, c'est que tout le monde sait ce que nous, les Haïtiens, vivons," a déclaré un homme à une équipe de tournage d'Al Jazeera. « Il n'y a pas de président. La criminalité est élevée. Les élèves ne peuvent pas aller à l'école. Il n'y a pas de travail. L'économie est en baisse. Les gens ne peuvent pas supporter ça. La déportation n'est pas bonne pour nous.

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