President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday harshly condemned the actions depicted in images showing Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up Haitian migrant families in Texas after they crossed over from Mexico.
“It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” Biden said at the White House.
The President said: “I promise you: those people will pay… There is an investigation underway right now and there will be consequences.”
“It’s an embarrassment,” Biden added. “It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It send the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”
An investigation was launched after video of Border Patrol agents on horse patrol aggressively confronting migrants surfaced earlier this week. Several top administration officials and congressional Democrats have expressed outrage over the images which appear to show law enforcement officers on horseback, including authorities swinging long reins near migrants who crossed the border near Del Rio.
The Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol.
Asked whether he took responsibility for what happened at the border, Biden said he did.
“Of course I take responsibly,” Biden said. “I’m President.”
Harris also expressed horror at the images and drew comparisons to slavery.
“I was outraged by it, it was horrible and deeply troubling,” she said during an appearance on “The View” on Friday, adding that she fully supports an investigation into the matter.
“Human beings should not be treated that way, and as we all know, it also evokes images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people in our country, has been used against African Americans during times of slavery,” Harris said.
Harris said she and the President both feel “very strongly” that the US needs to do more to support the people of Haiti.
“I feel very strongly, the President feels very strongly – we’ve got to do more, there’s no question. The United States is a member of the Western Hemisphere. Haiti is our neighbor in that regard. And so we have to do more in terms of supporting the Haitians who are returning to the island, returning to Haiti. We’ve got to do more without any question to support Haiti in terms of its need to get back up and recover,” Harris said.
Harris noted the nation was in a process of rebuilding as it recovers from natural disasters and in the wake of the assassination of the country’s President.
This story has been updated with additional details.