"Despicable" expulsions, a "shocking" situation or a "colossal disaster": the Republicans but also big democratic names in the American Congress were indignant on Tuesday at the management by the Biden government of the sudden arrival of thousands of Haitian migrants at the southern border of the United States.
Photos showing border guards on horseback pushing back migrants, sometimes using the reins as a lasso, near Del Rio, Texas, particularly shocked the country, prompting the Democratic government to open an investigation.
Vice-President Kamala Harris deemed the images "horrific" and told reporters that she supported the investigations.
“Human beings should never be treated in this way and this concerns me deeply.
In a snapshot taken by a photographer employed by AFP, an agent on horseback grabs a man by his t-shirt.
On another, he keeps a group at bay by turning his reins, in a threatening posture.
“These images make you nauseous.
This type of violence must stop, ”insisted the Democratic leader of the US Senate Chuck Schumer.
Rarely as critical of the Democratic president, he urged Joe Biden to immediately end the deportations of Haitian migrants and to reverse the health rules adopted at the start of the pandemic, in 2020, to authorize the immediate refoulement of migrants.
"We cannot continue these vile and xenophobic policies coming from Trump, which ignore our refugee laws," he said of the former Republican president.
Up to 15,000 people, mostly Haitians, gathered last week under a bridge near the border in Del Rio in this great South American state, in the heat and in very precarious conditions. Several thousand people have already been taken out of this improvised camp, either to be transferred to detention centers or to be deported outside the United States, said Minister of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas during a hearing in the Senate. "They are less than 10,000 today," he said.
"We have increased the number of deportation flights to Haiti and other third countries," he said, ensuring "to have a plan and to implement it".
But these flights to Haiti outraged some Democrats.
"Such a decision goes against common sense" and "decency", protested Chuck Schumer, stressing that the difficult conditions in Haiti made that the country could "not receive them".
In addition to the political unrest and insecurity that already affected Haiti, in August a deadly earthquake devastated the southwest of the island, killing more than 2,200 inhabitants.
But for Alejandro Mayorkas, these migrants, mostly Haitians, flocked quickly to the United States after receiving "false information from smugglers".
1.3 million migrants arrested
"It's always the fault of others," then strangled Republican Senator Josh Hawley.
"It's a humanitarian crisis (...) 10,000 people are living in appalling conditions because of your policies", he again thundered, citing the suspension, this summer, of the expulsions of Haitians already installed in the United States. United.
Even if the measure does not concern new arrivals, it seems to have contributed to the sudden influx of Haitian migrants to the border, some of whom had been living in Latin America since the great earthquake of 2010 (more than 200,000 dead).
These arrivals add to unprecedented flows since Joe Biden entered the White House, with more than 1.3 million migrants arrested at the border with Mexico.