The United States has moved about 4,000 Haitian migrants from a camp in Del Rio, Texas, where mistreatment was recorded, and more were expected to leave on four flights on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
“We are moving more migrants very quickly to other processing centers so that we can ensure their security and safety and the security and safety of the community,” Mayorkas said in an interview with CNN. “We are repatriating individuals, we expect to see dramatic change in the next 48 to 96 hours.”
Hundreds of Haitians returned to Mexico from the sprawling migrant camp across the border in Del Rio, Texas, on Monday, fearing expulsion to their homeland as U.S. authorities organized flights back to Haiti.
The White House criticized the use of horse reins to threaten Haitian migrants after images circulated of a U.S. border guard on horseback charging at migrants near a riverside camp in Texas.
The camp, under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande, is the latest flashpoint for U.S. authorities seeking to stem the flow of migrants fleeing gang violence, extreme poverty and natural disasters in their home countries.
Mayorkas said an investigation was underway into the treatment of migrants and that monitors from the Office of Professional Responsibility would be stationed full time at the site to monitor the situation.
“We will not tolerate any mistreatment,” Mayorkas told CNN. “I was horrified by what I saw. I’m going to let the investigation run its course. But the pictures that I observed are troubling me.”