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Photos Appear To Show U.S. Border Agents Chasing Down Haitians In A Migrant Camp

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Thousands of migrants have been camped out under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

New photos show U.S. border agents on horseback chasing down Haitians who are living in a temporary camp there. The photographer, Paul Ratje of AFP, spoke with NPR.

PAUL RATJE: So I felt the Haitians were quite scared, and I think there was probably some panic, which resulted in them trying to run around the horses. The agents tried to block them. And then the one agent grabbed a man by his shirt, and they kind of swung him around. And I don't know what prompted that.

MARTIN: According to the El Paso Times, one agent was swinging a leather strap of some kind and charged his horse at people who were trying to cross the river. This is what is shown in those AFP photos. Ratje says migrants have been crossing to the Mexican side of the border to get food and water.

RATJE: The Haitians that were there seemed frightened that they weren't going to be able to get back into the camp because they would be separated from the people that they're with or whoever they're trying to bring food to.

MARTIN: Last night, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it's opening an investigation. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke to CNN this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF CNN BROADCAST)

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: I was horrified by what I saw. I'm going to let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly. That defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.

MARTIN: But Mayorkas also issued a warning to Haitian migrants, saying, quote, "this is not the way to come to the United States."

(SOUNDBITE OF TESK'S "LEGO") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.