Al Sharpton and a group of faith and civil rights leaders will tour the Haitian immigrant camp Thursday on the southern U.S. border in Del Rio, Texas.
Mayor Bruno Lozano, a Democrat, is slated to accompany the group and participate in a press conference with them at approximately 1:30 p.m. local time near the International Bridge, according to a press release from the Sharpton-founded National Action Network (NAN).
Sharpton and the group intend to “meet and pray with refugees in the wake of the humanitarian crisis,” the press release further explains.
Founded by Sharpton in 1991, NAN is a civil rights organization that “works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote a modern civil rights plan that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender,” the release added.
Speaking about his upcoming trip on Wednesday’s episode of “Morning Joe,” Sharpton said, “I’ve organized a delegation of ministers and we’re going down tomorrow morning to Del Rio. I’ve talked to Mayor Lozano, and he’s going to bring us right where the people from Haiti – the refugees, those seeking asylum – are, and let us see for ourselves.”
Explaining that he and his group intend to get to the bottom of the recent photos that journalists and some Democratic lawmakers claim show Border Patrol agents using whips against Haitian migrants, Sharpton continued, “And then, what we did see, why are they on horses? Why are they treating people this way, and what is the difference between how others have come in this country, and Haitians come in the country?
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz maintained in a Monday statement that border officials do not use whips.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, also pushed back against the claim, telling CNN on Tuesday that Border Patrol agents do not implement whips or lassos when interacting with migrants.
“If there was a problem, it should be investigated, and I think that’s it. But we cannot paint the Border Patrol with the same type of paintbrush. What are they supposed to do, just stand there and let everybody come in? They’re supposed to be enforcing the law,” said Cuellar.