Parked vehicles have created a steel barrier which stretches for miles along the US border with Mexico in the latest measure to deter migrants from crossing into Texas.
The US has been expelling Haitians from a large makeshift camp at the border, which at one point had attracted more than 12,000 migrants.
Law enforcement officers on horseback were pictured using what appeared to be aggressive tactics against the migrants – and a barrier has now been set up along the border, using vehicles belonging to the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has backed his approval of the tactics – and criticised the Biden administration for not doing more, claiming local people and officials had “taken the lead on securing the border”.
But US Vice President Kamala Harris criticised the way the migrants had been treated, when she said: “What I saw depicted, those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were, was horrible.”
She added she supported an investigation into the horseback incidents, while homeland security officials called the images “extremely troubling”.
In recent days, US authorities have removed at least 4,000 people from the site for processing in detention centres.
More than 500 Haitians have been deported to their homeland on four flights, with repatriations set to continue on a regular basis, the US Department of Homeland Security said.
Some of those returned reacted angrily as they stepped off flights at Port-au-Prince airport in the Haitian capital after spending large amounts of money to travel from the troubled Caribbean nation via South America, hoping for a better life in the US.
The disturbances underscored the instability in the Caribbean nation – it is the poorest in the Western hemisphere, where a presidential assassination, rising gang violence, and a major earthquake have spread chaos in recent weeks.
The rapid expulsions were made possible by a pandemic-related authority adopted by former president Donald Trump in March 2020, which allows for migrants to be immediately removed from the country without an opportunity to seek asylum.
Unaccompanied children are exempt from the order, a decision which was made by President Joe Biden.
Mexico has also begun moving Haitian migrants away from the border, authorities said on Tuesday, signalling their support for the US as the situation creates a political headache for Mr Biden.
Republican politicians with an eye on the 2022 midterm elections, when they will bid to retake control of Congress, have been quick to portray the camp as the result of a push to end some migration restrictions.
There are also reports that some of the Haitian migrants facing expulsion back to their homeland are instead being released in the US, with some observed at the Del Rio bus station by Associated Press journalists.