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U.S. To Continue Cruel Treatment of Haitian Refugees—But Not on Horseback

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Reason Roundup

Elizabeth Nolan Brown | 9.24.2021 9:48 AM

The horse patrols aren't the point. Democrats promised a different sort of immigration policy than what former President Donald Trump offered. But with a few tweaks around the margins, the Biden administration has continued—or even expanded—its predecessor's policies.

It gets away with this in part because of symbiotic bullshitting between the Biden administration and the people opposed to it. The latter really want their base to think that Democrats are ushering in "open borders" and an influx of scary criminal immigrants, so they rant and rave as if President Joe Biden isn't just largely continuing Trump policies. And since Democrats don't want to seem like Trump 2.0 on immigration, both teams of bullshit artistry benefit.

Every now and then, however, a little bit of reality permeates this big stinking bubble—forcing Democrats to own up to what their own party is doing. That's what happened this week, when images of border patrol agents on horseback rounding up would-be immigrants with what were initially described as "whips" got out.

Here's the video pic.twitter.com/itFwZfYN45

— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) September 20, 2021

The spectacle sparked outrage over ongoing border-policy cruelty and further highlighted how the U.S. is treating Haitian (and other) refugees.

"This is a stain on our country," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.).

"It is unconscionable. The Biden Admin must act," opined Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

"Our federal government should not inflict this cruel violence. Period. Migrants have the right to claim asylum, and the federal government has a duty to treat them with basic respect," said Rep. Katie Porter (D–Calif.).

"These are human rights abuses, plain and simple," tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.). "Cruel, inhumane, and a violation of domestic and international law. This needs a course correction and the issuance of a clear directive on how to humanely process asylums seekers at our border."

Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that she's "deeply troubled" by the situation.

The administration's tone-deaf response? To announce that border patrol agents would stop riding horses, for now.

"We have ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio temporarily," a Department of Homeland Security official told reporters on Thursday.

So there's the decision to keep out the Hatians… and whips of some sort… and government employees who deployed them… but the horses were the problem? Did I miss a wrinkle in that story or some wonky angle I don't get? https://t.co/9iutgwNqqR

— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) September 23, 2021

They'll still be capturing and sending home asylum seekers on sight. In fact, they'll be doing more of it. But by........

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