On the left, groups expressed their outrage over the photos and videos; on the right, they defended their hard stance toward immigrants
The border between the United States and Mexico is becoming more and more of a political problem for Americans and Mexicans.
From the American perspective, the issue is a complete loss: There is no way the border situation and the issue of undocumented immigrants will be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties in this long-standing and increasingly ideologically charged and polarized debate.
Last week, images of thousands of Haitian immigrants seeking refuge under the bridge bordering Del Río, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, and the treatment they received from border patrol agents on horseback, who allegedly used reins and riding crops to hit them, became the focus of what is becoming an increasing debacle for President Joe Biden.
“Of course I take responsibility. I’m president. But it was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous,” Biden stated, before announcing that an investigation is underway and that there would be consequences.
But if the sincerity of the outrage is to be believed, the concerns of the investigation into the conduct of border agents falls directly into familiar territory regarding the rights of undocumented migrants and the impunity and lenience granted to the “guardians of the law.”
These will certainly be two political blows for Biden. On the one hand, the photographs and videos contrast with his promises as a presidential candidate to develop a more humane and less restrictive immigration policy.
On the other, the fact that it deals with the physical mistreatment of Black people by white people gives a different dimension to the situation, clearly entering into the territory of the ferocious racial debate that has been disrupting the United States for years.
On the left, groups and politicians, both liberal and African American, linked with the Democratic Party have expressed indignation and have reminded Biden of his electoral debts to them.
On the right, the harsh stance toward undocumented immigrants and the expedited deportations of the detainees was defended. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promotes his own immigration “policy” with metal gates, police officers and the National Guard.
The crowd of Haitians under the Del Rio bridge disappeared and most returned to Mexico to avoid being deported by U.S. authorities by plane to Haiti, which some of them left years ago, forced out by the same crisis that has led their country to near failed state status.
Regardless of the position of its government, Mexico has become an immigration “filter” that puts what it does, doesn’t do or how it’s done in the middle of the U.S. political debate and in a discussion of its own.