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House Oversight demands answers on CBP's treatment of Haitian migrants

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is demanding answers on Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) treatment of Haitian migrants after agents on horseback were seen on video grabbing individuals trying to enter the U.S.

Members of the Oversight panel, led by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), sent a letter to acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller demanding a briefing by Friday on what CBP knew about the incident, including the conduct of the agents and their supervisors.

The lawmakers are also seeking answers on what disciplinary steps have been taken regarding the agents and supervisors involved as well as what other actions are being taken to protect migrants.

"We were alarmed to see footage of the inhumane treatment of Haitian and other migrants in Del Rio, Texas, by Border Patrol agents on horseback," the lawmakers wrote. "Such abusive conduct is unacceptable and raises troubling questions about culture, training, and discipline within CBP."

The Hill has reached out to CBP for comment.

CBP and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have faced intense backlash this week after footage of the incident in Del Rio, Texas, emerged on social media.

Agents were seen chasing down and grabbing migrants aggressively. One video showed a Border Patrol officer using an expletive while steering back migrants toward a river.

DHS said earlier this week that it "does not tolerate the abuse of migrants in our custody and we take these allegations very seriously." CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility is currently investigating the incident.

The incident comes as the Biden administration ramps up deportation of Haitian migrants after thousands gathered under a bridge in Del Rio.

The lawmakers also demanded that CBP end the deportation of migrants to Haiti under Title 42, which allows for deportations for public health reasons.  

"In the words of the late Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, 'We're better than this,'" the lawmakers wrote, invoking the late congressman from Maryland. "We expect CBP to take immediate action to ensure that all migrants are treated humanely and with respect."

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