DHS suspending horse patrols on Mexican border

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Thousands of Haitian migrants have been arriving to Del Rio, Texas, as authorities attempt to close the border to stop the flow of migrants. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) – The Biden administration is temporarily suspending the use of horse patrols in Del Rio, Texas as it works to ramp up controversial repatriation flights of Haitians camped under a bridge near the border.

“We have ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio temporarily,” a DHS official said on a call with reporters.

“As of this morning, we were at around 4,050 individuals under the bridge so we have really made tremendous progress over the last 72 hours in drawing down the population under the bridge,” a DHS official said.

A camp where more than 14,000 migrants had waited along the Texas border just days ago was dramatically smaller Thursday, while across the river in Mexico, Haitian migrants in a growing camp awoke surrounded by security forces as a helicopter thundered overhead.

The number of migrants at the Texas camp had been reduced to around 4,000, Department of Homeland Security officials said Thursday, after authorities ramped up efforts in the last day or so to remove migrants.

Officials said about 1,400 had been expelled to Haiti and 3,200 transferred to other Border Patrol sectors to be processed either for expulsion or potential release, while several thousand have returned to Mexico.

They also said the DHS is working with other countries to take some Haitians.

The United States and Mexico appeared eager to end the increasingly politicized humanitarian situation at the border, even as the U.S. expulsion of Haitians to their troubled homeland caused blowback for the administration of President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration’s special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, submitted a letter of resignation protesting the “inhumane” large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants, U.S. officials said Thursday.

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