Photos From The Texas Border Show The Desperation Of Thousands Of Haitians At A Makeshift Camp
After crossing from Mexico into Texas, thousands of people are now living in squalid conditions as they await deportation.
This weekend, the remote southern Texas town of Del Rio saw an influx of immigrants, many originally from Haiti, resulting in around 13,000 people living in a makeshift camp.
As the border facilities lacked the resources to take in and process the overwhelming numbers of people, many families set up camp under an international bridge. With little food and water, individuals crossed the river again to get supplies in Mexico and returned to camp with whatever they could carry. On Sunday, US Customs and Border Protection officials stopped allowing people back into Texas, even if returning to camp under the bridge.
Photos show Border Patrol agents on horseback confronting people, prompting horrified reaction on social media — and questions over whether officers used their horses' reins to whip people. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced his department would be investigating.
“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were was horrible,” Vice President Kamala Harris said on Tuesday. “And I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there. But human beings should never be treated that way. And I’m deeply troubled about it.”
What comes next for many of the immigrants is unknown. Some have chosen to take to the river and traverse the chest-high water back to Mexico, and others have been put on flights back to Haiti, where they will be faced with the aftermath of a recent earthquake as well as political instability and gang violence. These photos show the dire conditions they've already faced.