When a photographer captured the moment one of President Biden’s Border Patrol agents snatched a Haitian migrant by the collar, the image would set off a shockwave for the “inhumane” treatment. The migrant was not only grabbed by the agent on horseback but dragged through the dirt like a piece of garbage. Now, the migrant, Mirard Joseph, is suing the Biden administration for the “most humiliating moment” of his life, which occurred simply because he was trying to bring food and water back to his wife and child.

The combined effort of the Justice Action Center, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and Innovation Law Lab are representing Joseph and ten other Haitian migrants who were allegedly mistreated by Biden’s administration. Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas are listed among the defendants in the lawsuit, which hopes to make good on the humanitarian problem that had stricken the Biden presidency since before he stepped in as president.

Thousands of migrants were living in squalid conditions in an encampment under the Del Rio bridge in Texas. As many as 16,000 people were packed into the tiny tent city at one point as COVID-19 rampaged throughout the group of migrants who had little access to important resources like food, freshwater, and healthcare services.

In the lawsuit, the attorneys alleged that Mirard Joseph was mistreated by border patrol as he became a target of the agent on horseback. Joseph had decided to cross the Rio Grande because his family was suffering from malnourishment and dehydration and was in desperate need of food and water. Their condition was so poor that Joseph was willing to risk his safety for their wellbeing.

“After Mirard stepped out of the river, holding two bags of food for Madeleine and his daughter, he encountered a mounted officer,” the lawsuit states. “As other officers looked on – some on foot, others on horseback or in official vehicles – the mounted officer shouted at Mirard, lashed at him with split reins, grabbed his neck, and held his collar.”

Apparently, the agent on horseback was trying to drag Joseph back across the river. During the altercation, which lasted “several minutes,” the agent destroyed Joseph’s shirt and forced him to lose his shoes.

“The officer released Mirard only when the horse was about to trample him,” the suit states.

Another migrant listed in the lawsuit, identified as Esther, was trying to get food for her hungry baby. Instead of being allowed to get some sustenance for her little one, she was “terrorized by officers on horseback” who shouted at her to “go back to Mexico.”

Many of the migrants from Haiti had fled the country in the wake of the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of the island nation in 2010.

In the lawsuit, Joseph and the other plaintiffs are asking for an unspecified amount of money in damages as well as a formal apology from Biden and Mayorkas. The suit also demands that the Del Rio encampment be shut down and that all migrants currently detained there be released.

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