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NAACP demands meeting with Biden on treatment of Haitian refugees

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is demanding a meeting with President Biden after controversial photos from the southern border showed Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up Haitian illegal immigrants.

“President Biden is claiming on the world stage that America is back, but back for who?” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “The humanitarian crisis happening under this administration on the southern border disgustingly mirrors some of the darkest moments in America’s history. If we were to close our eyes and this was occurring under the Trump administration, what would we do? The inhumane treatment of the Haitian refugees is utterly sickening.”

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The NAACP added, “No person fleeing poverty and hunger should be treated in this egregious manner. For far too long, the Haitian community has endured mistreatment at the hands of our nation. The administration has got to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to those seeking refuge. The actions of the U.S. border patrol are deplorable and should be investigated and reprimanded.

“In the words of William Clay, we have no permanent enemies and no permanent friends, only permanent interests,” Johnson continued. “The NAACP only has permanent interests.”

Johnson said, “We look forward to our meeting with the President.”

The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for its handling of the surge of migrants crossing the southern border, which has been recently highlighted by photos and video of over 10,000 migrants, many of them Haitian nationals, being held in “third world” conditions under a bridge in Texas as they await processing and deportation. 

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Photos have surfaced over the last few days of Haitian migrants being rounded up by Border Patrol agents on horseback, with many liberal reporters and pundits characterizing the photos as proof agents are “whipping” helpless migrants at the border.

Border Patrol officials have rejected that characterization, including Art Del Cueto, president of National Border Patrol Council Vice, the union representing Border Patrol agents. He said that agents do not carry whips. 

“They were not whipping anyone,” Del Cueto told Fox News. They don’t carry whips. They don’t get assigned whips. What they do is a training technique that has been shown to them to make sure that no one takes over their horse.

Del Cueto continued: “It was to protect the horse, to protect the rider, and to protect the individual that was trying to cause chaos and knock down that rider from that horse. So they twirl the reins to protect everything and make sure everything’s done correctly. But nobody was getting whipped, but some members of the media are sure pushing that narrative and our agency and our administration isn’t helping much by not saying something about it.”

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Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democratic congressman from Texas, also pushed back against the “whipping” narrative in an interview with CNN.

“The picture you’re talking about, at least the one I have seen, is the rein, the rein of the horse,” Cuellar said. “What are they supposed to do, just stand there and let everybody come in?”

On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris called for an investigation into her administration’s handling of the migrant surge.

“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were is horrible,” Harris told reporters. “I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation.”

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Biden promised Tuesday to get the situation “under control.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News’ on the NAACP’s statement. 

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