National Security

DHS misses self-imposed investigation deadline on dispersal of Haitian migrants

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas missed a self-imposed deadline to complete an investigation into officers on horseback who dispersed Haitian migrants despite a pledge to wrap the review within days, not weeks.

After vowing to lawmakers on Sept. 22 that DHS would conduct a swift, thorough review in “a matter of days, not weeks” the agency said at the two-week mark that the investigation is still ongoing. A DHS spokesperson did not provide a timeline for when it will be complete.

“The investigation is ongoing. The Department is committed to a thorough, independent, and objective process. We are also committed to transparency and will release the results of the investigation once it is complete,” a DHS spokesperson told The Hill by email.

Mayorkas made the pledge to lawmakers following outrage over scenes in Del Rio, Texas where border officers on horseback dispersed migrants after some 14,000 Haitians camped under a bridge in the border town.

In the hearing Mayorkas referenced the images of migrants running from federal agents on horseback, saying they “correctly and necessarily were met with our nation’s horror.”

“We are addressing this with tremendous speed and with tremendous force. … The facts will drive the actions that we take, we ourselves will pull no punches, and we need to conduct this investigation thoroughly, but very quickly. It will be completed in days, not weeks,” he said.

At a White House briefing days later Mayorkas noted that officers appeared to use long reins to push back migrants.

“There’s also a question of how one uses the horse and how one interacts with individuals with the horse,” he said of the investigation.  

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Del Rio Haiti southwest border

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