The US border has recently seen another surge of migrants, this time from Haiti, with some 16,000 asylum-seekers illegally entering the United States over the past several days.
US President Joe Biden said he takes responsibility for the situation with an influx of migrants from Haiti on the southern US border.
“Of course, I take responsibility. I’m president,” Biden told reporters at the White House when asked to comment on the “chaos that is unfolding” at the southern border.
The president also said that it was “horrible” to see Haitian migrants on the southern US border chased and detained by border patrol officers on horses and promised that such actions would be punished.
Biden described the border patrol officers’ actions as “an embarrassment” but beyond the embarrassment he said they are dangerous and send the wrong message around the world and at home. “It’s simply not who we are,” Biden said.
Footage showing Haitian migrants supposedly being whipped and pushed by border patrol officers emerged earlier, sparking outrage among observers.
On Thursday, US Special Envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, announced his resignation, saying that he “will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive, decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti”.
Spending Bills ‘Getting Down to Hard Spot’
Biden also expressed confidence that the two spending bills that are at the heart of his domestic agenda will be passed in Congress, but talks have reached a critical moment.
“We’re getting down to the hard spot here,” Biden told reporters in the White House. “People are having to get down in detail specifically what they’re for.”
Despite apparent divisions between his fellow Democrats when it comes to the size of the proposed spending, Biden said he believes “we’re going to end up getting both the pieces”.
The two bills comprise a $3.5 trillion social-spending plan entitled “Build Back Better”, and a $1.2 trillion Senate-approved infrastructure bill. In order to try and unite the lawmakers with opposed views on the $3,5 trillion package, Biden invited them to the White House this week.
‘Free and Accessible’ COVID Shots
The US president went on to promise “free and accessible” vaccine booster shots, noting that he also plans to receive one as soon as possible.
According to Biden, booster shots will be available for people aged 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease or of contracting COVID-19 through their work, and those who were vaccinated six months ago.
The president estimated that 60 million Americans are now eligible for booster shots.