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UN refugee chief voices shock at images of deplorable conditions at US border

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-22 09:43
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A Haitian immigrant feeds her child while staying at a large migrant camp at the US-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas, US, on Sept 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

GENEVA -- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Tuesday issued a statement on conditions and expulsions at US border in Del Rio of Texas, saying that he was shocked by images of the deplorable conditions there.

He mentioned that more than 14,000 Haitians had gathered there after arduous journeys from a number of countries in the Americas.

"The summary, mass expulsions of individuals currently under way under the Title 42 authority, without screening for protection needs, is inconsistent with international norms and may constitute refoulement," the UN official said.

He reiterated the call for the US government immediately and fully to lift its Title 42 restrictions in effect since March of 2020 which continue to deny most people arriving at the southwest US land border any opportunity to request asylum.

The head of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday traveled to Del Rio, a city in the US state of Texas that borders Mexico, warning migrants who have amassed there against illegal border crossing.

Meanwhile, a video showing US border patrol agents chasing Haitian migrants on horseback triggered outrage, forcing White House press secretary Jen Psaki to acknowledge Monday that what was shown in the "horrific" footage was neither acceptable nor appropriate.

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