‘What is going on there?!’ Kamala Harris shuns responsibility for US/Mexico border chaos

Kamala Harris on treatment of Haitian migrants at US border

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Speaking to reporters on Wednesday the Vice President condemned the actions of the Border Patrol guards in Texas but stopped short of taking responsibility and did not lay out any further action she would take for the horrific scenes unfolding under her watch.

The Vice President said: “I fully support what is happening right now which is a through investigation into exactly what is going on there.

“But human beings should never be treated that way.

“And I am deeply troubled about it.”

It comes as United States immigration officials said they have launched an investigation after images emerged of mounted US border guards appearing to use leather reins to threaten migrants camped along the Texas-Mexico border.

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Ms Harris did however make a call to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday where she shared her concerns about the scenes.

Ms Harris’s chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said: “Secretary Mayorkas shared the Vice President’s concern and noted that he looks forward to updating her on the investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility once it concludes.”

The White House has also criticised the use of horse reins to threaten the mostly Haitian migrants after footage and images circulated on social media.

In the footage, mounted police can be seen spinning leather whips, charging and shouting at migrants as they attempt to herd a numer of them away from the border. 

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While in one image a Border Patrol agent can be seen to get a hold of a man trying to flee, the agent can be seen shouting and using a whip to intimidate the man.

US Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz told Reuters news agency how the incident was being investigated to make sure there was not an “unacceptable” response by law enforcement.

He said officers were operating in a “difficult environment” trying to ensure the safety of the migrants while searching for potential smugglers.

The chaos comes as an estimated 12,000 people are camped out under a bridge connecting the town of Del Rio, Texas with Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.

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Border patrol officials have also sought to expel migrants from the camp.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters when asked about the images how she didn’t think anyone seeing the footage would think it was “acceptable or appropriate”.

Many of the Haitians at the border fled their homeland following the 2010 earthquake, initially finding shelter in South America before heading to the US border.

On Sunday, the first flight of Haitian migrants from the Del Rio bridge camp landed in Haiti as repatriation flights are set to continue throughout the week.

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