Dozens of people gathered outside ICE regional headquarters in San Francisco Thursday to denounce the treatment of Haitian migrants flooding into the Rio Grande in Texas.
The situation is being described as a humanitarian crisis with tens of thousands now pleading for asylum and activists are increasingly concerned about their treatment.
“Members of the faith community and immigrant rights activists to call on the Biden administration to stop deportations of Haitians immediately as well to end detention,” said Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.
The protest in San Francisco was is part of a national day of action, demanding changes to the immigration system.
The Biden administration is facing sharp criticism for how it's handled the situation on the Texas border.
“I’m Haitian American and the treatment of Haitians at the border is of concern to me it’s also a justice issue and as a pastor these hits home personally,” said Rev. Myrna Bernadel-Huey of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda.
The images of agents on horseback charging at Haitian migrants have sparked outrage online.
The White House said on Thursday that horses will no longer be used by border patrol agents in the area and are assigning the agents involved to desk duty while their actions are investigated.
“There is something about that image that shows that taps into a deep chord about how Black people have been treated in this country Black immigrants, Black Americans," Lee added.
On Thursday, the U.S. special envoy for Haiti resigned over treatment of the migrants.
NBC Bay Area’s Christie Smith also spoke to David Campos, the vice chair of the California Democratic Party, who said he's speaking for himself, not the party.
“I voted for him. [Biden] I still support him. But I think as a supporter, I have a responsibility to say to him that 'we have to do better as a country,'” he said.
People who attended Thursday’s protest said they will keep up the pressure.