PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A prime U.S. official on Friday apologized for the way Haitian migrants have been handled alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it’s not how border officers or the Department of Homeland Security behave.

The feedback from Juan Gonzalez, the U.S. National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, got here throughout a two-day official go to to Haiti to speak with native leaders about migration and different points.

“I want to say that it was an injustice, that it was wrong,” he stated. “The proud people of Haiti and any migrant deserve to be treated with dignity.”

The U.S. authorities not too long ago got here below hearth for its therapy of Haitian migrants, with photos exhibiting males on horseback, corralling Haitian asylum seekers.

TEXAS CITY’S RESOURCES STRAINED FOLLOWING DEL RIO MIGRANT SURGE

Gonzalez was visiting with Brian Nichols, U.S. assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, amid ongoing expulsions of Haitians from the U.S. to their homeland. Since Sept. 19, the U.S. has expelled some 4,600 Haitian migrants from Del Rio, Texas on 43 flights, in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Michele Sison, right, talks with National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Sebastian Gonzalez, as Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. 

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Michele Sison, proper, talks with National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Sebastian Gonzalez, as Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols speaks throughout a information convention on the U.S. Embassy, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. 
(Associated Press)

Gonzalez stated the gathering of migrants alongside the border is a public well being emergency and warned those that are pondering of leaving to not threat their lives.

“The danger is too great,” he stated.

Gonzalez and Nichols beforehand met with Haitian Americans and Cuban Americans in Miami on Wednesday and with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, members of the civil society and political leaders in Haiti on Thursday to speak about migration, public security, the pandemic and efforts to assist these affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the nation’s southern area in mid-August.

Nichols stated that in their go to, they heard many individuals discuss in regards to the challenges that Haiti faces, noting that there’s a “surprising” quantity of settlement on potential options.

“There is no solution that will work for Haiti and its people that will be imposed from the outside,” he stated, referring to current criticism in regards to the involvement of the U.S. and different international locations in Haitian affairs because it tries to recuperate from the earthquake and from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse at his non-public residence. “However, we in the United States are committed to providing the Haitian people the support they need to succeed and implement their own vision.”

Nichols stated the dialog with the prime minister was constructive, including that the U.S. is encouraging consensus and a holistic imaginative and prescient.

“The future of Haiti depends on its own people,” he stated. “The United States is committed to working with the people of Haiti to support as they work to bring prosperity and security back to their country.”

Nichols stated a technical crew from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement will go to subsequent week as Haiti struggles with a spike in gang-related violence, with the bureau’s assistant secretary visiting in upcoming weeks. He stated later this month, the undersecretary for civilian safety, democracy and human rights will go to with different senior officers to speak about police and safety points.

Associated Press author Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed to this report.