Del Rio border crossing reopens after controversial treatment of encamped Haitians

Del Rio Port of Entry at the southern US border has reopened for passenger traffic and will reopen for cargo on Monday, Customs and Border Protection announced.

The CBP statement on Saturday came just days after the crossing point made international headlines for controversial treatment of thousands of Haitians encamped there.

“Following efforts this week by U.S. Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations and DHS partners to expedite processing of the migrant flow to manageable levels and with public safety restored, CBP reopened trade and travel operations at Del Rio Port of Entry,” the agency said in a release.

The makeshift camp of migrants – mostly Haitian – came under fire as images emerged of squalid conditions and aggressive tactics by border patrol officers on horseback.

An estimated 10,000 people hoping to get into the US descended on the area following the spread of false information – and authorities struggled to process the throngs either for entry or deportation.

Outrage followed images and videos of mounted officers pushing back migrants attempting to ford the Rio Grande, and the use of horses in such situations has since been suspended.

“To see people treated like they did – horses running them over, people being strapped. It’s outrageous,” President Joe Biden said this week. “I promise you, those people will pay.

“It’s an embarrassment … it’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world; it sends the wrong message at home.”

On Thursday, US special envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote resigned, saying he “will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti.”

The camp had been mostly cleared a day before Saturday’s reopening announcement.

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