Members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the U.S. House stood in the rain outside of the Capitol building Wednesday to denounce the treatment of Haitian migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Watch their remarks in the player above.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, likened the treatment of the migrants to slavery after scenes of border patrol agents on horseback using their reins to control the crowds.
“I’m not just unhappy with the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them, I’m unhappy with the administration,” she said.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts called on the Biden Administration to halt all deportation of Haitian migrants.
U.S. officials say many Haitian migrants camped in a small Texas border town are being released in the United States, undercutting the Biden administration’s public statements that Haitians who enter the country illegally face immediate expulsion.
The releases come despite a massive effort to expel Haitians on flights to Haiti under pandemic-related authority that denies migrants an opportunity to seek asylum.
The releases come amid a quick effort to empty the camp under a bridge that, according to some estimates, held more than 14,000 people over the weekend in a town of 35,000 people.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, during a visit Tuesday to Del Rio, said the county’s top official told him the most recent tally at the camp was about 8,600 migrants.
The criteria for deciding who is flown to Haiti and who is released in the U.S. was unclear, but two U.S. officials said single adults were the priority for expulsion flights.